Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Activist Yang Hengjun ‘free’ and planning to head home [The Australian]

So, this has been labelled a misunderstanding. From the horse’s mouth – this is the Twitter post in action. For more go to his Twitter account here. His Twitter account still does not provide any useful clue behind his disappearance. Did the Aussie media stir up the human interest story with any legitimacy? Now I am not sure.

posted 31 March –


Translated –

I Yang Hengjun, due to personal reasons, lost contact with my family members and friends from the night of the 27th for close to 50 hours. It caused an uproar and I apologise. In this sensitive period, when i came across the well wishes of my friends from  the web, I was almost moved to tears. Thank you, I will be your Yang Henjun forever! A protest to the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu: Do you not know who Yang Hengjun is? That is not ignorance, it is a shame.

posted 2 April –

为了不辜负关心我的网友,只有更努力工作。但我可能要辜负全世界的媒体了,据确切消息,已经有多家外媒到香港与悉尼等我去“爆料”(到外面才说),我今天在广州接受了一家媒体的独家采访,同时请他传递口信:无料可爆,不想再接受更多采访:http://url.cn/0bXRPE (请翻译过来)

In order not to let down my friends from the web, I can only continue to work hard. However, I might have to let down the world’s media. According to accurate reports, foreign media have been arriving in Hong Kong and Sydney waiting for an explosive revealing of ‘everything’. I accepted an exclusive interview today in Guangzhou through which I passed on a message – I have nothing to reveal, and have no wish for further interviews: http://url.cn/0bXRPE – link points to interview with Australia’s Fairfax China correspondent – John Garnaut.

– – –

Activist Yang Hengjun ‘free’ and planning to head home
Source – The Australian, published March 31, 2011

DEMOCRACY activist Yang Hengjun said today he is “free” and plans to head back to Australia in the next few days.

Dr Yang, an Australian writer and online commentator, disappeared in strange circumstances last weekend, sparking fears he was in police custody.

“I’m free now, I’m OK,” Dr Yang said in a brief telephone conversation during which he indicated he did not want to talk more, refusing to elaborate further. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Chinese overseas, Democracy, Human Rights, Internet, Media, Nationalism, People, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Reform, Social, The Australian, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Yang Hengjun

China’s disappearances are difficult to stomach [The Age]

Australia: Were the Chinese really behind the disappearance of Yang Hengjun? Has China’s intent on managing its public image gone too far? John Garnaut, the Fairfax China corespondent who has actually met Yang sheds some insights into his disappearance –

‘Yesterday, Yang’s legions of online followers voiced hope that this increasingly brutal system would not be so irrational as to ”disappear” him, when it would have been simple to send him back to Sydney or gently warn him that the censor’s red line was closing in. Bizarrely, Yang’s writings were yesterday still on the Chinese internet.’

– – –

China’s disappearances are difficult to stomach
John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published March 30, 2011


Illustration: Dyson Source - The Age

An Australian blogger is the latest to vanish without trace. Is there no limit?

You might think it would get easier to stomach the news of a good friend or terrific individual ”disappearing” in China, given the rate at which it has been happening.

But Yang Hengjun’s vanishing from Guangzhou’s Baiyun airport hits deeper into the abdomen and rises further up the throat, I think, because it comes with an added feeling that the ground is shifting fast beneath our feet.

Nobody has heard from ”Henry” Yang since Sunday, when the Australian writer phoned a colleague to say he was being followed by three men. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Human Rights, Influence, International Relations, Mapping Feelings, Media, People, Politics, Social, Strategy, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Yang Hengjun

Fears rise over missing political blogger in China [The Age]

And now there are three. If proven true, this makes three Chinese-Australians that have been ‘targeted by China’s justice system in recent years, following Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu and entrepreneur Matthew Ng.’

For more on Yang, visit his website here.

Yang Hengjun. A photo of "Old Yang" posted recently to his blog, in which he poses with a number of books that are banned in China. Source - China Media Project

Elsewhere in cyberspace –

“I have not heard of such a person,” was the response given by foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu at a press conference yesterday when asked about the whereabouts of celebrity Chinese blogger and CMP fellow Yang Hengjun (杨恒均). Yang, known for his outspoken advocacy of democracy and freedom through personal anecdote, has been unreachable since he reported being followed in the Guangzhou airport late Sunday. (China Media Project, 2011)

– – –

Fears rise over missing political blogger in China
Dylan Welch and John Garnaut
Source – The Age, published March 30, 2011

CHINA’S crackdown on internet dissent, sparked by the ”jasmine” revolutions sweeping the Middle East, may have claimed its highest-profile target, with one of China’s most influential political bloggers disappearing at Guangzhou airport.

The disappearance of Yang Hengjun, an Australian citizen and one of China’s more prominent online political analysts, will also prove a headache for Julia Gillard, who is due to visit China late next month.

Dr Yang, a former Chinese Foreign Ministry officer turned novelist and political blogger, has not been seen since calling a colleague from the airport on Sunday to say that he was being followed by three men. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Australia, Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Human Rights, International Relations, Media, People, Politics, Reform, Social, The Age, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Yang Hengjun

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