Last year, an incident named the “Li Gang GATE” has bombed the web in China, and everyone online is talking about LiGang, and his son. Despite it not being a worldwide sensation, to some extend, it is similar to the Watergate scandal as it involved a government officer from Beijing.
The incident is regarding LiGang’s son who was involved in a drink and drive accident on the October 19th 2010 which he ran over two student pedestrians of which one of them was killed and causing another injured. Road accidents like this is commonly featured in headlines involving the second-generation rich youngsters and second-generation officer’s kids who get into accidents while driving their girlfriends to school in the case of LiGang’s son. What was so sensational about this event was because LiGang’s son was involved in a hit and run accident, driving off non-chalantly even after having to run over a pedestrian. LiGang’s son was later exposed by the victim’s classmates and threatened to press charges against him. However, LiGang’s son arrogantly replied, “sue me if you dare, my father is Li Gang!”(Key, 2010)( I don’t know if Western readers can fully comprehend the situation but to put it simply, in my opinion, I’m not trying to criticise the officers in my own country but there is so many corrupted officials who use their power to cover up for the illegal practice of their relatives or help to pull strings for their friends to get into a job with high position.) Netizens heard about the LiGang’s son incident, and blogs and new articles sprung up engaged in a “human-flesh” search on this incident. Soon, the ugly act done by LiGang’s son including all his information were exposed on the internet. “My father is LiGang” became the popular online slang for the netzens in China to complain, make fun or to mock the corruption act of government.
Check out the clip about the incident:
This incident is just a little back story to introduce my blog title. However, I would like to narrate a story of another character whom I thought he was lucky that LiGang’s son didn’t try to run him over. ‘Luckily he didn’t get run over by a car!’ The ‘he’ in my title refers to another character named Fang Binxing, nicknamed as “the father of the Great Firewall of China”. Unfortunately, during one of his lecture in the Wuhan University on the 19th of May, a pair of shoes was thrown at him (though he was only hit by one of them) by one of his students (Barnigan, 2011).
If I have never came to Australia or I have made no friends residing overseas, I might not feel the inequality exposure relative to people around the world outside of China. I wouldn’t be ranting about not being able to log into my Facebook account, or I might not even have an account since in China, there’s already the domestic website RenRen, which have the same functions as Facebook though you can’t create a page like “independent Tibet”or write a post like “I hate government”. Apart from not having the freedom to express your dissatisfaction with the Chinese government on Facebook, everything is very harmonious and happy with even more variety and high advancement of functions to choose from.
But since I’m in Australia now, and no one back in China can access my wordpress blog. I can only say: luckily, this Fang Bingxing didn’t get hit by a car driven my Ligang’s son! School term in University is coming to an end so many of my friends are asking for my hotmail address so that we could still keep in touch despite not having to be able to contact me through Facebook. It is quite frustration to have people to tell me “can’t ‘facebook’ you anymore because you can’t use Facebook in China.”
However, things are getting better as more of my foreign friends are picking up Weibo, the most trendy mini-blog (like Twitter) in China. It is quite similar to Twitter, but much more user-friendly. You don’t need to open an extra window to view the picture, you can vote (even vote for people’s representative, recently), you can insert small applications and change the theme of you own webpage, (themes are much more prettier), and all the celebrities seem to have an account in Weibo and some of them don’t even know Chinese. Weibo is gradually changing the lanscape of Chinese social network, and reaching 150 million users, within 18 month .