April 8, 2006

Day 45: Nina blogs about dealing with the police

Filed under: Nina's blog — Rebecca MacKinnon @ 2:19 pm

Time drags on. Hao still hasn’t been charged with any crime. sister Nina writes another post, titled “Differences:”

After returning to Shanghai, when I think about my experiences in Beijing, what floats up most often are the faces of those policemen I interacted with.  Their expressions were distributed between concern and indifference, and the number of different expressions they had was inversely related to their age.  The younger were more likely to feel concern, patiently deal with the questions of a family member, and show sympathy on their faces.  I saw this expression on the face of the young female officer taking notes in the Public Security Bureau Petition Office, and I saw it in a young policeman in the bustling police station.  But the older the officers, the more lightly they dealt with something like this, and the more indifference you could see on their faces.  What causes this difference?  Is it life experience?  Is it getting used to being a part of this system?

Friends also have sharply differing reactions when they hear what happened to Haozi. The consolation offered by Chinese friends, including those who have moved abroad to work, is all like this: “Don’t feel sad.  Wait until your brother gets out.  Urge him to be more careful.  Even if it doesn’t have political characteristics, it’s best not to touch these sorts of things (referring to filming and writing).”  Foreign friends, including those living in China, react like this: “How is that possible?  Isn’t that a violation of human rights?”  It seems they are unable to understand Chinese people’s conciliatory attitudes towards this sort of thing.  Actually, they have grown up in a society that has taught them from youth that they have all kinds of rights.  To them, these so-called rights are a natural thing.  They way I perceive it, Chinese people have taken on a great spiritual burden.  This burden comes from history.  It comes from the misery experienced by our parents’ generation.  Beneath this burden, by putting “forbearance” first, Chinese people give up their own rights.  Actually, without comparison you wouldn’t realize the difference.  Only by having the experience can you understand where the differences are.

Only when everyone realizes this difference will we achieve a common esteem for rights.  The Chinese economy is developing, and rule-of-man is transforming into rule-of-law.  There is no reason to believe that this difference will exist forever, or not grow smaller.  I have always felt thankful to that clearheaded worker at the Procuratorate.  Even if he didn’t offer much direct help in my brother’s case, he allowed me to see that the rule-of-law in the procuratorate system is improving, that there are problems in the public security system, and the direction for improvement in the future.  It’s just that more people need to be concerned about these problems.  Really, reducing this divergence requires the diligence of every person.  I sincerely hope that in the future no other families will suffer this hardship, and that the police will not have such a matter-of-fact and indifferent attitude.


  1. At this stage, do you even know where he is being held?

    Comment by Paulo — April 9, 2006 @ 2:54 am

  2. Nina,
    your blog is very touching. i’m really sad but happy to see after this experience, you become aware of the sufferings of many Chinese whose voices are never heard. Hao, our beloved artist, tried to give them a voice, a small and neutral voice. but……
    love and hugs

    Comment by s — April 9, 2006 @ 3:12 am

  3. More from Mr. 贺卫方: For Nina (thanks!)


    我跟客人提到了著名汉学家艾斯嘉拉(Jean Escarra),上个世纪前半期在中国的法国法学家,他对于中国与西方之间在法律上的差异有很敏锐的观察。在《中国法》一书里,艾氏在描述了法律和法学在西方文明中的崇高地位后,指出:“在亚洲的另一端,中国在她已经建立起来的精神价值和道德价值的强大有力的体系之中……就只能给予法律和法理学以一个卑下的地位。虽然并不是没有司法机构,但她只是愿意承认自然秩序,并且只是推崇道德的准则。……中国虽是一个学者辈出的国家,但她所产生的法律评论家和理论家却的确很少。”所以,从文明变迁的角度看,中国建立法治的道路不能不是一个与传统逐渐背离的过程。当然,这也正是中国法治建设最困难的地方。没有传统的支撑,很容易导致正式制度与非正式制度、制度与观念之间的脱节,损害法律的实效,降低国民对法律以及法院的信赖感,甚至导致局部的反复或倒退。不过,长远地看,法治和民主仍然是一条走向民族复兴的必由之路。”

    Comment by YW — April 9, 2006 @ 3:17 pm

  4. You call that Chinese? Boy, I am glad the Chinese do not speak that language. Without love, you will never learn a language. BTW, your ignorance is striking. Especialy, when it comes to LAW. Go read some history books of law in Chinese before you make yourself a world-class clown.

    Also, we frequently see the sentences like “religion is strictly controlled in China” in western media.

    How about this - “non-Christian religions are strictly controlled in the west.”

    Why western religious correspondences keep making such outlandish statement? The answer: the hatred is forced into their brainss when they were children in churches. Every single western blogs in China is like a robot, repeating the same religious political doctrine which reflect an extreme lack of diversity - an extreme domination of Christianity.

    The so-called western laws all come from the Bible - the imagined Moss. lol.

    Western Christian lunatics have come to China to harass and release their hysteria for centuries.

    All their absurd hatred comes form their Christian churches or their fellow UK Christian racists/bigots. The message of Chinese suppression is part of their faith.

    With the inferior western Jesus moral, they have some luck to convert but the most ignorant sections of the Chinese society, which in turn makes their religion and system looking even worse in China.

    Comment by jessica copeland — April 14, 2006 @ 8:03 pm

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