How the outsider looks

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Heartthrob’s Barbed Blog Challenges China’s Leaders:

Since he began blogging in 2006, Mr. Han has been delivering increasingly caustic attacks on China’s leadership and the policies he contends are creating misery for those unlucky enough to lack a powerful government post. With more than 300 million hits to his blog, he may be the most popular living writer in the world.

In a recent interview at his office in Shanghai, he described party officials as “useless” and prone to spouting nonsense, although he used more delicate language to dismiss their relevance. “Their lives are nothing like ours,” he said. “The only thing they have in common with young people is that like us, they too have girlfriends in their 20s, although theirs are on the side.”

It looks like internet usage in China may be reaching 400 million soon. This may seem a bit of a stretch, but I wonder if someone such as Han Han might be viewed as an heir to the long tradition of Confucian scholars who serve as outsider critics against Imperial regimes they deemed morally unfit.


  1. Well Mr. Han is not far from the truth. I worked on contract in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu, for 12 months, from Oct, 2006. This was my first long stay since 1989, and had hoped to see improvements, in the system. What I experienced was a worse situation, with government officials and their cronies all out to get rich as fast as possible, and at any cost. So, what did I achieve ? In truth, absolutely nothing. It was as if I was working with a tribe of monkeys, all with brain damage.

    Mr. Ha is correct, the corruption is so bad its undescribable, and the confusion, of remembering who you have bribed, makes dealing with, everyone else, a nightmare, since, when government officials are transfered, the replacement is soon on site with his hands out.

  2. Let me add, that one day I was wondering where the company directors were receiving tips from, concerning management decisions, made by foreign managers, employed to save the company from bankruptcy. What we discovered, was that the so called owner of the company, a 70 yr. old, was having an affair with my 18 yr. old receptionist, who naturally passed on, on a daily basis, all of the talk. This girl was so frightened of loosing her job, she told be near the end of my term, that when she had nothing to report, she would just make-up gossip, to ensure her master was happy. Today, this same company is on the verge of closing down. I wonder why ?

  3. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch. China doesn’t really have a tradition of popular participation in government (short of rebellion), but they have a strong tradition of elite criticism of government.

  4. Han Han is a writer, not a scholar. He might be pretty pissed if he is thought to be “confucian scholar”, or an elite. He consider himself a rebellion.

  5. Looking down on you own kind or humbleness is very much of Chinese tradition.
    Unfortunately, such attitude is disaster for value transference or GPD.

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