tirsdag 20. april 2021

China’s Ex-Leader Seems to Have Published a Rare Column. Now It’s Censored.

Chinese social media sites have banned users from sharing a heartfelt column, purportedly written by the country’s former premier, which calls for a China with justice, freedom, and respect for humanity. Retired leaders rarely make public remarks in China, and the column said to be by former Premier Wen Jiabao could have touched the nerve of current Chinese leaders as a veiled criticism of their tightening control over Chinese society, analysts say.Wen was widely adored for his compassionate image when he was serving as the country’s No. 2 leader from 2003 to 2013, but he has rarely engaged with the public after his retirement.

The column, titled “My Mother,” was first published as a four-part series in Macau Herald, a newspaper based in the former Portuguese colony of Macau, from March 25 to April 15. It describes at length what Wen’s family went through in China’s tumultuous years, including during the Sino-Japanese War and the Cultural Revolution, and looks back at his work as a Chinese leader.

“I sympathize with the poor and the weak, and I’m against bullying and oppression,” it reads. “China in my heart should be a country with fairness and justice. There will always be respect for people’s inner self, humanity, and the essence of people; and always have spirits of youthfulness, freedom, and fighting.”