Li Haoshi Investigated for Insulting the People’s Soldiers: Political Loyalty in China

Li Haoshi (Source: Weibo Pictures)

[Look at China, May 24, 2023]Recently, Li Haoshi, an actor of China Xiaoguo Culture Company, was reported and investigated by the police for his talk show performance involving the so-called “insulting the people’s soldiers”. Some scholars pointed out that the phenomenon of reporting has a long history in previous political movements in China, and the serious handling of the “Xiaoguo incident” this time is another act of political loyalty.

Li HaoshiThe content of the talk show was reported and investigated by the authorities

In the middle of this month, a Chinese talk show caused a sensation in public opinion. Netizens uploaded a clip of talk show actor Li Haoshi (HOUSE) under Xiaoguo Culture’s May 13 performance video, showing that Li Haoshi joked during the performance that he picked up two wild dogs from the mountain. When he saw the wild dogs chasing squirrels, “ I just want to say eight big characters in my heart: good style, able to win battles.”

The discussion among netizens triggered by these eight words once rushed to Weibo hot searches. Some netizens thought, “This is an insult to the People’s Army” and “This manuscript is inappropriate, and not everything can be used as a joke.”

As soon as the incident happened, although Li Haoshi and Xiaoguo Culture issued an apology statement immediately, it still attracted many official media to express their opinions. On the afternoon of the 16th, the official Weibo account of Xinhua News Agency posted: “‘Listen to the party’s command, be able to win battles, and have a good style’. Every word should not be offended!” People’s Daily also posted a comment on the same day, “One-sided pursuit of laughter If you don’t hesitate to step on the line, you will fall into a misunderstanding.”

With the ferment of public opinion in the past few days, Li Haoshi and his Xiaoguo Culture Company were also reported to the relevant departments by Chinese netizens. The Beijing and Shanghai cultural and tourism departments immediately intervened in the investigation, and the police quickly followed up.

Wang Juntao, a Chinese political scientist living in the United States, said in an interview with this station that reporting is not a problem in itself, and the “whistleblower” system is also common in Western democracies. But in China, whether the punishment mechanism after reporting is in accordance with the law or not is the key point.

“I don’t think reporting is a problem. The main problem is persecution. In a society ruled by law, all reporting materials must be publicly disclosed, approved, and debated by both parties. The basis for sentencing must stand the test of social conscience and be enacted into law. Basis.” He said, “Under the dictatorship of Xi Jinping and the Communist Party in China, they regard the maintenance of the regime and the interests of the dictatorship as the criteria for judging right from wrong, and the persecution of citizens does not follow the open and reasonable procedures of China’s criminal procedure.”

The Chaoyang District police in Beijing reported on the 17th, “According to the situation that actor Li Moumou (male, 31 years old) of a certain cultural company seriously insulted the People’s Army during his performance and caused bad social impact, the public security organ has opened a case for investigation according to law. ”

At the same time, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism also announced an administrative penalty on Xiaoguo Culture on the same day, confiscating more than 1.32 million yuan of illegal income and imposing a fine of more than 12.25 million yuan. All performances of the company in Beijing will be suspended indefinitely. Personnel and their performance brokerage agencies and performance venue operators “further pursue accountability in accordance with laws and regulations.” Relevant departments in Shanghai also announced that they will immediately interview and severely reprimand the company involved, and suspend all performances in Shanghai from now on.

After the official move, Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of the party media “Global Times”, posted a post on Weibo to support the Xiaoguo culture. He wrote: “Has the culture of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army been challenged? I don’t think so!” But this time, Hu Xijin’s work of guiding public opinion was collectively condemned by many netizens. Later, Hu Xijin changed his tone and changed his position, supporting the punishment of Xiaoguo culture, and said, “If you touch the bottom line, you will pay a heavy price!”

Hu Ping, the honorary editor-in-chief of the overseas political publication “Beijing Spring” living in New York, USA, told this station that the authorities strictly, quickly and severely dealt with the reports against Li Haoshi and Xiaoguo Culture, sending a dangerous signal in China today.

“This incident is a very dangerous signal, that is, the authorities want to intensify literary prisons and strengthen language punishment. Using the so-called mass exposure to create a wider fear effect. This is not unfamiliar to us as those who have experienced the Cultural Revolution.” He said, “Things have come to this point. In this sense, it is a complete resurgence of the practices of the Cultural Revolution.”

But Hu Ping believes that the ten-year political repression of the Cultural Revolution directly led to the emancipation of the mind within the system, which is what the current Xi Jinping authorities are worried about. He said: “Now that Xi Jinping wants to repeat this practice, it will definitely evoke painful memories of the Cultural Revolution for many people, and many people will resist this approach.”

According to the information disclosed by the Internet in China, the personal information of the person who reported the “Xiaoguo Incident” has also been exposed by netizens, and he himself has been questioned and attacked by many netizens.

Whistle-blowing style is at its peak during the Cultural Revolution: the collective trauma of a generation

Under political pressure, reporting behavior seems to be a sequela since the establishment of the CCP. During the ten years of the Cultural Revolution, it was almost normal for children to report on their parents, and for husband and wife to break up and cause family ruin. Under severe political oppression, everyone’s self-defense has become an eternal trauma for a generation.

In 2013, China’s state-run media, People’s Daily Online, reprinted an interview with The Beijing News about a Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution’s confession over the years after reporting on his mother and causing her to be shot.

In this report, Zhang Hongbing, who has become a lawyer of Beijing Bosheng Law Firm, described his wish. In 1970, Fang Zhongmou, Zhang Hongbing’s mother, said some remarks in support of Liu Shaoqi and criticism of Mao Zedong at home, which was reported by Zhang Hongbing. Fang Zhongmou’s remarks were classified as “counter-revolutionary” and he was shot two months later. In 1980, Fang Zhongmou’s case was rehabilitated. At that time, the court ruled that “it was really an unjust killing and should be exonerated.”

Zhang Hongbing said, “At that time, everyone was trapped in an atmosphere, and they couldn’t run away even if they wanted to. The kindness and beauty in my human nature were completely and irreparably ‘formatted’.” Tormented by inner pain, she has applied to relevant departments since 2011, hoping to recognize her mother’s grave as a cultural relic, but has been unsuccessful.

Zhang Hongbing emphasized that the purpose of publicizing that painful experience is to hope that people will remember the cruelty of that period of history.

Chen Chuangchuang, executive director of the National Committee of China Democracy Party and a lawyer in New York, pointed out that the reporting phenomenon in China did not start from the Cultural Revolution, but it flourished during the Cultural Revolution.

“Reporting this kind of atmosphere, environment, habits, and even culture is not unique to the Cultural Revolution. It does not allow you to find peace in any private environment. In fact, the CCP has been doing this since it was established.” He said: ” In the performance of the entire political system, loyalty is the most important. This loyalty is only personal loyalty to Xi Jinping. In the past few years, Xi Jinping has been very concerned about improving the image of the military. In fact, he just wants the army to fight for him. become more sensitive.”

Chen Chuangchuang believes that in view of the public opinion environment in China under Xi Jinping, the outcome of the “Xiaoguo incident” is not optimistic, and Li Haoshi himself may face immeasurable persecution.

(The article only represents the author’s personal position and point of view)

Source: Free Asia–All rights reserved, any form of reprint needs to see the Chinese authorization. Mirror sites are strictly prohibited.

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