Many of the non-Chinese Communist Party members that have decided to step forward as independent candidates in local elections around China do so at great personal cost.
One such independent candidate, Xu Yan (徐彦), today announced he was quitting from his job after his employer started getting concurrent visits from the tax, commercial and labour bureaux.
Since announcing his bid to run as a people’s respresentative in Hangzhou, the provincial capital of Zhejiang, the 27-year-old has displayed great political savvy and run a solid campaign reaching out to residents through various social media channels.
On Sina Weibo, China’s leading microblogging platform, Xu has gained a following of close to 10,000 fans. He also releases a Youku video each week on Monday, engaging voters on a wide range of political issues.
Xu said earlier today that he had sent in his resignation letter to relieve his employers from the harrassment they were facing from government authorities. In making the decision to stand in the local elections, Xu added that he was prepared for all the challenges that may come his way, and that nothing was going to stop him from his bid.
He also denounced attempts by local government officials to harrass his family members into talking him out of his campaign.
“I accept all legal checks and supervision from voters and society and I will comply with all requests for information in a legal manner, but I reject all investigations on my family and friends”, he said. “My decision to stand in the elections has absolutely nothing to do with my employer, my family and my friends so I hope all government officials that want to know anything about me do so in an open manner, instead of making covert, untransparent moves.”
“I have no fear of what anyone may do in the dark, and I will not withdraw my bid because of their threatening gestures,” he reiterated.
Late last month, author and tea entrepreneur Xia Shang (夏商), whose company had also been receiving similar harassment from government authorities, announced his withdrawal from elections in Shanghai.
Xia explained by saying he was disgusted by what he saw in the current regime in the aftermath of the high-profile Wenzhou train collision. The revelation, he said, has led him to lose all confidence in the current regime and that to continue standing in the election would be tantamount to affirming the regime, and to sullying himself by association with it.
Xu Yan’s announcement (in Chinese) after the jump…
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