Just a few days ago, the New York Times researcher Zhao Yan (赵岩) was freed after three years in prison. Today, we hear Li Yuanlong (李元龙), 47, a journalist who was jailed in 2005 for posting subversive essays on the Internet, has also been freed. Li, who wrote under the pseudonym Ye Lang (夜狼) or “Night Wolf,” used to work for Guizhou Province’s Bijie Daily《毕节日报》which we understand to be a paper with a really tiny circulation, and was picked up by state security agents at his office and subsequently charged for “inciting subversion of state sovereignty”. One of the offending articles was the one entitled “On Becoming an American in Spirit”. Wanna see what’s so subversive about it? Read ESWN’s translation of the article here. We include one juicy snippet here:
… There are no great or small rights but only democracy and totalitarianism. I say that in my vocabulary, there is no China versus outside but only justice versus injustice; there is no Chinese versus foreigners but only good versus evil. There is no inside or outside, no east or west. I will dedicate myself to pursue truth, goodness and beauty; I will oppose all that is false, evil and ugly. I will never compromise.
And while the underground Bishop Han Dingxiang, 71, of Hebei’s Yongnian diocese, has died in custody, it looks like another underground pastor (a Protestant one), Cai Zhuohua, has been freed. And his charge? The “illegal possession of thousands of Bibles”. You see, while Bibles are not illegal in China per se, only one publisher is licensed by the government to print and distribute the Bibles, and that is the Amity Printing Press in our neighbouring city of Nanjing. The US-based China Aid Association said Cai was in good health although he lost 20 kilogrammes.
Addendum: So it appears we were wrong that Amity is the only supplier of Bibles in China. Someone (more knowledgeable than us about the subject) has told us that there are others – including the Guanxi Press which belongs to the Catholic diocese in Shanghai and possibly two other publishers associated with the dioceses of Shenyang and Shijiazhuang. And with 7 more books in the Catholic Bible than in the Protestant one, it would make sense that the Catholics have their own publishers. We stand corrected.
Photo of dove statue at the Cheng’an Protestant Church from BowenLiu