How you get 1,022,191 readers for a blog post

In Chinese blogs, Most popular on March 22, 2010 by chinascribe Tagged:

Han Han post from a couple of weeks ago… This case has been covered elsewhere, but it will bear a fair amount of attention. Official corruption is always a hot topic, but in Han Feng’s case – as Han Han points out – the level of attention goes some way beyond the level of corruption that had been uncovered at the time of this post. If you look at some of the highest profile cases of recent years, even the official accounts point to much more greed and greater harm (embezzlement of pension funds, anyone?) Han Feng, though, had much more modest desires – if you look at young consumers in any eastern Chinese city, they arguably take for granted much of the stuff that Han Feng funded by illegal means (how does that influence the way he is presented?) and in that he resembles an eighteenth-century local official getting by on meltage and wastage, and what we see of his diary makes him appear naive, Pooterish… Is this some of the fascination of the case? So much of the corruption that makes the papers seems to involve harm to vulnerable people, and despite official insistence that a tireless war is being waged against the corrupt it is easy to feel that many more are getting away with serious abuses. Han Feng in himself, though, does not pose a massive threat; it is easy to present him as a bit of a hick; he seems almost to have been begging to get caught – is it a comforting thought that you can sometimes just despise corrupt officials, rather than fearing them?

Han Feng is a good cadre March 4

The diary of Han Feng, director of the Guangxi Tobacco Agency, has become a hot topic recently. I think that it’s a breath of fresh air to see literary description in a web that is teeming with images and videos. This will be – in its literary and social value – the work of 2010. After I read the director’s diary, I felt we should not prosecute him. If we believe it is genuine, I feel confident in saying that he is a good cadre.

  1. This is a cadre who, in the last six months, has accepted a mere Y60,000 in bribes. That’s the first time in the last few years that I’ve seen the words ‘accepted bribes of’ followed by a five-figure number – where else will we find a director of such probity?
  2. Not one of his women – past, present, regular or intended – is actually kept by him.
  3. This is a director who doesn’t gamble, doesn’t consort with prostitutes, doesn’t bribe his bosses.  If he’s out and needs to get a mobile phone card, he queues up, even if it takes hours.
  4. In his diary, we saw a national cadre who shows real frugality: as other cadres were giving their mistresses houses and cars, he gave his own women no present worth more than a mobile phone or MP4. This doesn’t just show he’s a good guy – it also tells us his women are OK too. How much would we save for China each year if we had more men and women like this?
  5. He only accepted 89 banquet invitations – I know of many village cadres who eat out over 365 times a year. But he often got drunk, and doesn’t have a great head for for alcohol, so in this he didn’t measure up as a national cadre – this was his greatest crime, and it severely damaged the image of our public servants.
  6. He’s had a lot of women – but he was also seen out with his wife on 25 occasions; he bought a mobile for his father – but he hasn’t been discovered using his official position to advance his relatives’ interests.
  7. He can install his own computer software, likes digital gadgets, photography, sport, and writes his diary in micro-blog format – he’s a leader in touch with the times.
  8. In his diary, I didn’t see a single mention – not even a hint – of the hankering after flash cars, art or antiques that’s typical of a national cadre; he just plays quietly with his mobile and his computer. In the diary, he even mentions buying an earpiece for Y160. He’s so easily satisfied – it’s fantastic!
  9. As for work, although we haven’t seen this leader do any work, all that a so-called cadre needs do do is to manage his people and that fulfils the job description.

All of which tells us that, as things are now in China, he’s definitely a better than average cadre. Cadres like him can amuse themselves and are easily satisfied; they don’t harm the people and they don’t harass them; and they do less harm than others do to state and nation. In the diary, we saw a national cadre who was perfectly happy with only a few thousand yuan; when he bought a mobile phone, all he wrote in his diary for three days was ‘stayed home and played with mobile’ – he didn’t even bother with his women. There are so many cadres in the same position who are guilty of worse than he is. I urge all netizens to leave him and his women alone – they’re the smallest fry in this.  Their greatest crime is that they snapped up a few creatures floating by. We can hope that they be dealt with according to the law – but we must not take them to be the model of official depravity. In these degenerate official circles, they are the greenest and least harmful. Let’s allow this director to continue his research into digital products from the job that he has. If he left it, his replacement could do far more harm to everyone – the main difference would be that he might not write a diary.

Poll, 254332 respondents [as at March 22]

Han Feng is a good cadre: hope he will remain in post: 244704 votes (96%)

Han Feng is a bad cadre: hope he will be dealt with according to the law: 9628 (4%)

Readers: 720,157

Comments: 9297

Diary in Chinese at:

ChinaHush translation at: though I prefer my own translation.


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