gu kailai: he made me do it!

As Chongqing Turns takes no prisoners, literally.

According to Mirror News (明镜新闻网), Gu Kailai claims she had nothing to do with the alleged murder of Neil Heywood. Instead, she says that Bo Xilai’s secretary acted on the former Mayor of Chongqing’s orders to kill the British businessman. Her role in all of this was simply to invite Heywood to Chongqing. Moreover, she couldn’t refuse to help Bo Xilai because he frequently beat and sexually abused her.

It seems that Hu Jintao may have successfully arranged for Chongqing’s former power couple to receive the death sentence for their role in Heywood’s death. Or at least that’s cliff-hanger du jour, not to be confused with anything like verifiable news.

Meanwhile, there are reports (here, here, and here) that two days ago several thousand took to the streets of Chongqing to protest the government by singing red, a direct challenge to Bo Xilai’s administration and a call for change a la Mao. They also sang the national anthem: “Ten thousand hearts as one, braving the enemies canons — forward march!” In response, the government ordered the police disperse the protestors using teargas yesterday.

Online, extreme left websites such as “乌有之乡”, “毛泽东旗帜网”, “民声网” and “红色中国” have been closed down, although it is still possible to find their site addresses in Baidu’s cache and the British speculate about how Heywood’s Chinese wife is “suffering“, quote unquote.

Contextualizing Dachong: A Story from Chongqing

In order to contextualize the gross injustice of equating Shenzhen urban villagers with neidi farmer-workers, as well as to understand the rhetorical force of this symbolic equivalence, it is important to keep in mind ongoing problems with defaulted wages throughout China. According to Xiong Ju (熊炬) their are four kinds of bosses who cheat workers out of wages:

1. Real Estate Developers who buy land and have a contractor employ workers to build the housing, intending not to pay workers in a timely fashion. Instead they wait until the housing is finished, prices have risen, and only after selling the property do they pay their workers. They cheat the workers out of the interest on their salaries.

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