Sunday, January 10, 2016

State Media Publishes Calls for German Christoph Rehage to be Prosecuted for Insulting Mao Zedong

On December 29, 2015, the Chinese Communist Party sponsored China Youth Daily published an article on its website, China Youth Net, entitled “Artist Tweets and Becomes Target of 'Foreign Online Celeb's' Blasphemy, Accused of Spreading 'Nazi Ideology'” (艺人发博遭“洋网红”亵渎 被诬宣传“纳粹思想”). Some excerpts:
"I say, who harms China the most? Its those irresponsible celebrities. Just like Wang Baoqiang, that's what is most disgusting." Recently, a video recorded and produced by the "Foreign Online Celeb" Rehage was being passed around on social media, making shockwaves among Internet users. In the 4:43 long video, Rehage uses words like "disgusting," "uncivilized," and "uncultured" to describe actor Wang Baoqiang, saying the Weibo Wang Baoqiang posted saying "Happy Birthday Grandpa Mao" was spreading "inhuman ideas" and "Nazi ideology," and "was harmful to society and harmful to himself."

On December 30, the China Youth Net posted two editorials about Christoph Rehage. Some excerpts:

Those Who Would Blaspheme the Nation's Founders Must be Expelled (亵渎开国领袖必须依法驱逐)
by Anonymous China Youth Net Commentator (中国青年网评论员)
Recently the German Rehage used his fluent Chinese to publish a video online comparing Mao Zedong, one of the main founders of the People's Republic of China, to Hitler. Foreigners like Rehage who target broadcasts at China's Internet users and use extremist language to challenge the bottom of line of the feelings of the Chinese masses and China's mainstream ideological values represent a severe threat to the security of China's ideological values, and must be expelled at once in accordance with the law.
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On the birthday of Mao Zedong, the actor Wang Baoqiang posted a Weibo saying "Wishing Grandpa Mao a Happy Birthday." This was the simple sentiment of countless Chinese people, an expression of the sentiment that "those who drink should never forget the well diggers," and a heartfelt expression of gratitude for "The Chinese people have stood up" and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people. This is the most universally held sincere feeling of the Chinese people. Rehage's attack on Wang Baoqiang as being "utterly disgusting," "uncivilized," and "uncultured" was a baseless attack that hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, and a brazen challenge to China's mainstream ideology.
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Today, near as we are to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Chinese people will never again be driven out and slaughtered by the rifles of great foreign powers. We have grabbed hold of our own destiny, and we are embarked on the arduous path in the quest for advancement. Whomsoever claims greatness through their deeds should be commemorated in perpetuity. No one, much less a foreigner, is entitled to interfere with, or make criticism of, the free expression of Wang Baoqiang.
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The great gate of China's reform will never be shut. But Rehage is increasingly looking like one of those unprincipled Big V's, who rely on being controversial to draw eyeballs. He has previously insulted Lei Feng, and taken part in satirizing the national heroine Hua Mulan. This foreigner Rehage has eaten China's food and then smashed China's bowl, and we no longer welcome him.
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If Rehage is currently within the borders of China, we must immediately expel him in accordance with the "National Security Law," the "Exit and Entry Administration Law," and relevant regulations. If he is not within the borders of China, he should henceforth be banned from entering.

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Experts: Rehage's Subjective and Malicious Critique of Mao Zedong Constitutes a Violation of the Law (专家:雷克主观恶意评价毛泽东构成违法)
by Lu Guanqiong and Li Ta (卢冠琼 李拓)
China Youth Net interviewed several academic and professional experts regarding the impact that Rehage's actions have had. The experts indicated that Rehage's actions constitute violations of the law.

"The assessment made by Rehage in the video was not an objective assessment. If it had been objectively factual, then it could be deemed freedom of speech. But Rehage's statements were for the most part purely false and subjectively malicious." Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Chinese University of Law and Politics' Mass Media Research Center, told reporters from China Youth Net, the actions of the young German Rehage disturbed public order and constitute a violation of the law. According Zhu Wei's analysis, "Rehage called Chairman Mao 'China's Hitler' and described him as someone who 'put to death millions of his countrymen,' and this is a far cry from being historically objective, and was clearly subjectively malicious." Zhu Wei pointed out, "subjective malice is considered a violation of freedom of speech even in Europe and America."
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Some Internet users wondered, "If Rehage did not record and produce this video and make these statements within the borders of China, can Chinese law still be applied to his actions?" Zhu Wei answers in the affirmative. Zhu Wei notes, "Even if Rehage is physically in Germany, or in any other country besides China, his actions were extended through the Internet, and what happens in the Internet environment happens in China. While there exists a distinction between the virtual and the physical, nevertheless because the nature of his influence and his online behavior takes place in China, therefore it remains appropriate to apply Chinese law."

Zhu Wei further explained, "For example, a person may be physically within their own country, but the online influence of their actions may take place internationally or in another country, and on the basis of the principles of 'protection' and 'jurisdiction,' any nation that feels the impact of only behavior will have the requisite jurisdiction."
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Zhu Wei went on to say, "We have jurisdiction over our own Internet environment, and regardless of where a person is located, as long as China's Internet is implicated, Chinese law will be applied him." Zhu Wei pointed out, Rehage's actions clearly violated the "Ten Articles for Weixin" ("Interim Rules on the Development and Administration of Instant Messaging Tools and Public Information Services").

Zhu Xudong, deputy director and Party Secretary of the Chinese Academy of Social Science's National Cultural Security and Ideology Building Research Center, told a China Youth Net reporter stated explicitly that "Foreign Public Intellectual" Rehage is not a one-off case, but is rather a kind of group force whose fundamental goal is to use foreign voices to mislead  Chinese people in their understanding of many matters and subvert our history and values in order to ultimately throw our ideology into disarray.

Zhu Xudong said: "This kind of speech has an impact on the our nation's ideological security, and what follow next is to endanger our national security. We must be steadfast in exposing and attacking, exposing the danger they represent.

A lawyer with 30 year's experience told a China Youth Net reporter that, from the perspective of Chinese law, looking at Rehage's recording and producing a video for public distribution, he could be suspected of violating the provisions of Article 246 of the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China" relating to crime of insulting and defaming. He said that, as expressed in the text of that law, Rehage's public online brazen use of fabricated facts to defame China's leaders represents an insult to the dignity of those leaders, and should constitute the crime of insulting and defaming.

This lawyer also mentioned that, although the crime of insulting and defaming falls under the category of crimes that only addressed when a complaint is made, because China's national leaders represent the image of the nation, this falls with the scope of the national interest. Seeing as Rehage brazenly humiliated and defamed a former national leader harmed the national image, and furthermore severely jeopardized the national interest and caused its international image to suffer, therefore Rehage's actions could be subject to legal prosecution by the state's public prosecutorial agencies.


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朱巍补充道,“我们对自己互联网的环境有管辖权,不管这个人在什么地方,只要涉及中国的网络,他都适用于中国的法律。”朱巍指出,雷克的行为很明显已违反了2014年8月国家互联网信息办公室发布的“微信十条”(《即时通信工具公众信息服务发展管理暂行规定 》)。





On December 31, the China Youth Net published an editorial by Wang Dehua (王德华) entitled "Foreigner's Blasphemy of Leaders is Internet Users' Shame" (任老外亵渎领袖是网民耻辱). Some excerpts: 
Once we were slaves. If we were not, then the 100 years of degradation of the Chinese people from 1840 to 1949 would never have taken place. We should rejoice at all we have today. From 1949, when the guns in front of Tiananmen sounded the founding of the nation until today, we now near the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people. Mao Zedong and the Party and army he founded saw much suffering, and we have reaped glory.
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There is nothing that is more frightening than having a monument representing the spirit of a people be destroyed. What accompanies the tumbling of great men and heroes is the collapse of a pillar of the entire nation's faith. Yesterday they defended us, and today we are duty bound to defend them. In defending them we defend our blessed existence.

It is as the commentators have said: "As for those shallow, ignorant, and insolent foreigners Ursula Gauthier and Christoph Rehage and their ilk, we do not look to be able to change them, but we have the right to chose our friends. According to the law, we must close the door to them." More than that, we must also make these people show respect, and give up their shallow, ignorant, and insolent ways.

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On January 1, 2016, the China Youth Net published an article by Lu Guanqiong (卢冠琼) entitled "German Rehage Blasphemes Mao Zedong and Invokes Public's Wrath, Internet Users Call for His Expulsion" (德国人雷克亵渎毛泽东惹众怒 网民齐呼驱逐). Some excerpts: 
Internet spaces are not a lawless territory. Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Chinese University of Law and Politics' Mass Media Research Center, told reporters from China Youth Net: "There is sovereignty on the Internet, and this sovereignty comprises the will of the nation. A major component of this Internet sovereignty is judicial sovereignty."
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Internet user @LovesToTrace said, "To forget history is a kind of treachery. The famous dictum rings in our ears, and we cannot forget the great men and heroes, and that it was they who built for us this blessed home where we enjoy our happy lives. We will not tolerate anyone smearing or marginalizing our national heroes for any reason. A people that is full of energy and potential should be of the highest quality throughout, and not tolerate any speech or act that wantonly distorts or slanders history and stirs up trouble in China."
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Zhejiang Internet user "Maple Tree" left a message after the news: "We cannot turn a blind eye to any insults to national heroes and leaders, and must resolutely support state prosecutors' to indict this psycho Rehage!" Over a thousand Internet users indicated their approval of his views on a news client platform.

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网友 @喜欢临帖说,“忘记历史就意味着背叛。名言铮铮在耳,我们不能忘记伟人和英雄,是他们为我们创建了幸福的家园,享受着快乐的生活,任何人以任何理由诬蔑歧视民族英雄都是不容许的,一个充满正能量、具有光明前途的民族应该是高素质的整体,不容任何肆意歪曲、诋毁历史的言行在中国大地兴风作浪。”
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On January 1, 2016, the China Youth Net published an editorial by Zhao Huaqi (赵华奇) entitled "We Must Draw Our Swords Against Foreigners Who Would Blaspheme Our Nation's Founders" (对洋人亵渎开国领袖须亮剑). Some excerpts: 
Some time ago, the speech of historical nihilists flooded the Internet, defaming China, smearing heroes, vilifying revolutionary martyrs, to the point where it was becoming "fashionable," a period of pestilential atmosphere. From Lai Ning to Lei Feng to Qiu Shaoyun to Hua Mulan, these historical events and factual legends that embody Chinese people's striving ever upward and represents the spirit of the Chinese people, they have all been shaken and blackened. This is not by accident, but is instead an organized and premeditated act of destruction. Accompanying the gradual awakening of the Internet's popular will has been a clear stifling of that strand of perversity. Bi Fujian's insults to the leaders were met with popular condemnation, and he was subjected to Party disciplinary action.  Jia Duo Bao and "Zuo Ye Ben" were forced to apologize after humiliating heroic martyrs by using them in advertising campaigns. Unprincipled intellectualism can no longer fight the tide, and now "Foreign Online Celebs" are going into battle naked!

We need to have a concept of Internet sovereignty. No one may trample on national lands, and  the Internet territory may not be willfully invaded. This implicates issues of national security principles. Rehage is not in China, but he has had an impact in China. This is naked online provocation. The Eight-Power Allied Forces once came to China with their cannon, and we cannot allow their ancestors to use online culture to invade China. Therefore, we cannot adopt a laissez-faire attitude to the Rehage's generation. Their willful blasphemy of our nation's founding fathers is intended to destroy our history, destroy our faith, and destroy our common cause. 



On January 1, the China Youth Net published a second editorial by Wang Dehua (王德华), this time entitled "Defense of Mao Zedong is a Great Tree's Vigilance of Its Roots" (捍卫毛泽东是大树对根须的守望). Some excerpts:
Recently, after Rehage was severely criticized by the China Youth Net for recording and producing a video blaspheming Mao Zedong, the leader of the People's of Republic of China, he had the temerity to demand the China Youth Net "apologize."
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Some people have said that the China Youth Net "overreacted," and "shouldn't lower itself to the level of an online hooligan." Looking at commentary on the forums, the foreigner's blasphemy of our leader did in fact lead to some of our fellow countrymen to act obsequiously, is it possible this is an overreaction? This is a tragedy for China, a disgrace for Internet users.

This was a battle where the enemy sought to attack and demolish the dikes of our national spirit, an enemy taking a knife to our faith.
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During the second "World Internet Conference" one phrase that Secretary General Xi Jinping emphasized was "Internet Sovereignty." Internet sovereignty is an important component of state sovereignty, and public opinion security is at the core of Internet security. China's Internet sovereignty must be lead by Chinese people. To render the  national spirit unassailable we must firmly grasp the battlefield of online ideology in the palm of our hands.
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Is it considered free speech in America to misrepresent and attack Washington, or in England to insult the Queen? We do not need any phony affection or apologies from Rehage. The state should establish a permanent blacklist, and add to it anyone who is anti-China, anti-Mao, or who slanders the Chinese Communist Party, shutting the door to them forever, and never let them set foot on China's sacred soil!

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在美国歪曲攻击华盛顿,在英国辱骂女皇,能是言论自由吗? 我们不需要雷克任何虚情假意的道歉。国家应建立永久性的黑名单,把那些反中、反毛泽东、诋毁中国共产党的列入之中,永世拒之门外,不得踏入中国神圣大地一步!

Translation: Xu Zhiyong's Statement in His Own Defense

 Source: China Digital Times: On April 10, 2023, Xu Zhiyong, a well-known human rights de...