Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shaanxi Official Yang Dacai Dismissed, China's Websites Censor Searches and Blogs Connecting Him to Shaanxi Deputy Governor Li Jinzhu

On September 21, 2012, the state-sponsored Global Times reported:
Yang Dacai With His Many Watches
Yang Dacai (杨达才) was removed from his post as head of the Shaanxi Administration of Work Safety after being investigated, Shaanxi Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China said in a statement on its website, and he was still under further investigation. 
Yang was caught in a photo smiling at the scene of a bus accident that killed 36 people in Yan'an on August 26. 
Multiple photos of him were soon posted on the Internet, showing the "smiling director" wearing at least 11 luxury watches, seven expensive belts and one pair of luxury glasses on different occasions.
. . . .
Zhu Lijia, professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, told the Global Times that Yang's case showed that Internet investigations, especially the efforts of Weibo users, were a good means of reining in official corruption.
On September 26, the Global Times followed-up with a report entitled: "Fancy Wrist Watch-Wearing Official Sacked, Others Deny Helping Him" stating:
Li Jinzhu, vice governor of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, told the Xinhua News Agency that he never tried to defend Yang Dacai, who was sacked as head of the Shaanxi Administration of Work Safety for serious violations of discipline on September 21. 
The vice governor was responding to a torrent of rebukes after postings on Sina Weibo suggested Li defended Yang during an address to the Standing Committee of the Shaanxi Provincial Committee of the CPC.  
The Xi'an-based news portal cnwest.com reported Tuesday that Li is neither a member of the Shaanxi Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection, nor a member of the standing committee.
The Cnwest.com news report can be found here.

These screenshots were taken on September 24, 2012, and show that when users searched for "watch brother" (表哥), "watch uncle" (表叔), and "Li Jinzhu" (李金柱) on Sina Weibo they got no results, only a censorship notice.

These screenshots, taken on September 24, show that when users search for "Yang Dacai Li Jinzhu" (杨达才 李金柱) on Baidu, Sogou, Yahoo.cn, and Youdao, they got no results, only a censorship notice.

Finally, these screenshots show that at some time on September 25 a blog post entitled "Yang Dacai May Fall, But There is No Way Li Jinzhu Can Also Fall" (杨达才可以倒,李金柱万万不能再倒了) was deleted. It was originally available here: http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4dd1a7cd0102e0dp.html