Arts & Culture 
 Human Rights 
 U.S. Asian Policy 

Home > East Asia > 

Chinese websites invite complaints against the government
The Epoch Times

Several websites focusing on exposing government corruption in China have appeared on the Internet recently. Surprisingly, the sites are not banned by the Department of Propaganda yet they repeatedly post articles previously banned by it.

According to a report from Asian Times on July 12, a website named “China Complaints” was recently established. The website declares: "People’s opinions are most precious. [We should] monitor and rectify government corruption, and help the disadvantaged in society.” The website depicts itself as representative of people’s opinions. It also says it is “a powerful warning system for social problems and a direct monitoring system for all levels of Chinese government officials.”

China Complaints does not mention its own background or supporters. It just makes public appeals to various companies, political institutions, and social groups to accept its monitoring. Some articles on the website suggest that its establishment foreshadows future democracy in China. “A new democracy will be established by people monitoring the government,” China Complaints says.

The website says that if people are worried that the content of their complaints will be disclosed and that their personal and work lives will be jeopardized, they can select to hide the contents and authorize only China Complaints’ inspection commission members to read their articles. Since the site is not controlled or banned by China’s Internet police, it is highly possible that some very high-level Chinese government officials are strongly supporting it.

All similar websites, built before this one, were quickly banned after their establishment. In 1999, website builder Huang Qi, and his wife Zeng Li established a site called “Sky Web” that focused on looking for missing persons. However, many visitors posted messages related to opposing government corruption and condemning the 1989 Tiananmen Square Student Massacre. Huang Qi was arrested on June 3, 2000 and sentenced to five years charged with “subverting the state.”

On May 4, Beijing writer Chen Kuan, established a human rights protection office to help disadvantaged groups in society maintain their lawful rights. After the office was established, Chen Kuan’s home was illegally broken into by police. He was asked to report to the police station several times and he was no longer allowed to post articles on his personal website. On May 24, he was ordered to change the contents of his personal website. On May 27, his office was forced to close for 23 days.

According to one report, China Complaints received articles regarding the steel factory incident in Jiangsu province, and the powdered milk incident of Anhui and Liaoning provinces, even while the incidents were just unfolding. The report said that many people had already realized the seriousness of these incidents even before the central government knew what was going on. However, common people often lack an effective communications channel with the government. Therefore, the central government lost the opportunity to stop the incidents at the beginning stage and ended up encouraging corrupt officials and unethical merchants.

One of the articles on the website said that it is set up to "meet the needs of the central government." The article said that China’s news media is controlled by certain departments of the government and some local governments, and they can be easily bribed with benefits. Therefore, the monitoring abilities of news media have been nonexistent.

According to the Asian Times, China Complaints has been supported by all levels of society from the beginning of its establishment. There are over 22,000 discussion areas, more than 5,000 core functions, and over 10,000 pages currently.

Another website, “Supervision by Chinese Public Opinion,” has also been established. On this website, stories about public officials have been disclosed, such as the deputy mayor of Jining city in Shandong province, Li Xin, receiving bribes, having affairs, illegally detaining people and punishing Li Yuchun, who revealed his behavior to the public. The police department of Jining city wanted to shut down this website many times, but has not been successful. Li Xin has been reprimanded by the central government as a result of the disclosure.

According to a message on Guang Ming Web, CCTV interviewed Li Yuchun on February 29. On March 2, a group of six people form CCTV went to Shanghai to investigate Li Xin’s case. They videotaped Li Yuchun’s scars, which were a result of being kidnapped under Li Xin’s orders.

© Copyright 2002-2007 AFAR