Judging from the comments on our first post on Chinabounder’s now infamous Sex and Shanghai blog, there seems to be some who believe that the entire thing is a hoax. Everyone, it seems, wants to know who Chinabounder is — even the BBC，which emailed Shanghaiist’s editor asking for the scoop on Chinabounder. Bloggers often seem omniscient, but we’re not, or at least not in the way that God is.
The Inquirer states:
Ironically, the bog is a hoax. Chinabounder was written by a British man, an Australian woman, two Chinese men and a Japanese woman who for some reason have never walked into a pub.
OK, great, but not that informative (or trustworthy). Then we found this from the Associated Press:
However, a person responding to an e-mail to a contact address on the site said the authors were a group of performance artists who had fabricated its content as an investigation into online vigilante behavior.
“We did not anticipate quite the level of anger this would raise,” said the message, which said the authors behind the cyber name “Chinabounder” included a British man, an Australian woman, two Chinese men and a Japanese woman.
The message said the blog had been closed out of concern for the safety of the group’s Chinese members and ordinary expatriates in Shanghai.
“Investigation into online vigilante behavior” seems a bit suspect to us. Though, who knows? It only took them three months and not much money, so why not, right? On the other hand, who is doing the researching? Are these PhD candidates? Affiliates of some internet research organizations? What kind of conclusions could you draw from this investigation — “We successfully pissed off people by pushing all the right buttons.” Maybe someone is just trying to deflect criticism and attention from themselves … or just save his bounding British ass?
By the way, you can read up to August 28’s entry on Sex and Shanghai by using a proxy server and entering this link. We’re not really sure why this works, but in case you’re wondering we found it on The Guardian‘s Anna Pickard’s blog/column. It’s the link attached to the word “almost.”
Here’s some of what Chinabounder had to say in reply to Zhang Jiehai:
While in general Zhang Jiehai reports what I said accurately, I must take issue with his claim that I wrote Chinese men are ‘incredibly ugly.’ It is possible that he merely misunderstood me – for sure he is no thinker, no reader – but I never said anything remotely similar to this.
Here’s what he (they?) had to say about the Sino-Japanese relations part of the debate (italics are from ESWN’s translation of Zhang Jiehai):
the Japanese would have apologized to us a long time ago and they would not dream of going to any Yasukuni Shrine.
Man, I am getting to sound as absurd as Zhang Jiehai himself. There is so much lunacy in his article that merely by replying to it I am tainted with his sickness myself. For this particular gem of nonsense I will merely point out what I said before – that Japan has apologized. And I will also ask, can one apologize for a crime one has not committed? Today’s Japanese government, after all, murdered no one. But if one can apologize for the crimes of one’s predecessors, when will the CPC apologize for the 30 to 50 million deaths it caused?
And here is Chinabounder on Taiwan and Xinjiang:
He even dared to openly engaged in activities to divide China. For example, he once asked a student from Xinjiang: “Is Xinjiang really a part of China?” At the same time, he told his students any number of times: “Taiwan is really an independent country.”
And once more I hold my head in my hands. I expect such knee-jerk tosh from students, but to hear it from a professor saddens me greatly. Again – how ever can China hope to become great when this is the caliber of its intellectual elite?
I am willing to listen to the person who tells me Xinjiang is part of China.
Zhang Jiehai is not willing even to countenance the opposite argument. What kind of academic will not even accept an argument that opposes his own? Well, a shit kind of academic, that’s what.
I have talked to several Muslim students from Xinjiang. They most certainly do not feel Xinjiang should be part of China. And as for Taiwan… It simply is a separate country, and there’s no possible way to deny it. Now whether it should be separate or should remain separate is a different argument. But now, today, it is separate. The Taiwanese choose their own leaders; they have their own laws, language, currency, passport. Beijing has zero direct power over Taiwan; and therefore while all sides may preserve the `one country two systems’ fiction, the fact of the matter is that Taiwan is separate. One needs look no further than the international attitude to a Taiwanese passport and a Chinese passport for the truth of that.
It is the job of an academic to try to see things as they are, not as they are wished to be. Zhang Jiehai falls at this elementary hurdle. He is not even on the lowest rung of the path to true intelligence.
We could go on, but it’s a long post. To close, here’s some stuff on Chinese women:
I have relentlessly and directly criticized Chinese men, because I am one of them. On the other hand, I have always been reticent with respect to Chinese women, which included our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters.
In a nutshell, there it is. China man’s attitude to woman. Most thinking women would find such an attitude offensive and patronizing.
Zhang Jiehai, women do not want to be treated with kid gloves, they do not want to be put on a pedestal, they do not want to be treated as works of art. The want to be seen as equals. They do not want your offensive, patriarchal bullshit.
All this makes Shanghaiist wonder when we’re going to see real debate, like Iranian president Ahmadinejad debating US president George W. Bush on TV — now, that’d be a hoot!