Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘Wu Chuntao’ Category

Book reviews: Will the boat sink the water?

Posted by Author on August 8, 2006

  • Book: Will the Boat Sink the Water?: The Life of China’s PeasantsWill the Boat Sink the Water?
  • Author: Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
  • Hardcover: 229 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (June 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1586483587
  • Buy from publisher

Editorial Reviews From Publishers Weekly

What’s most surprising about this exposé of the Chinese government’s brutal treatment of the peasantry is not that it was banned in China, but that it got past the censors in the first place.

The authors— a husband and wife team who have received major awards— recount how, in the poor province of Anhui, greedy local officials impose illegal taxes on the already impoverished peasantry and cover their tracks through double-bookkeeping. Outraged peasants risk their freedom and sometimes their lives by complaining up the command chain or making the long and costly trip to Beijing, but for the most part the central government’s proclamations against excessive taxation don’t effectively filter back to the local level.

The authors criticize the central government for its own heavy taxation and underrepresentation of the peasantry, though in much more measured tones than they fault the local officials. “Could it be that our system itself is a toxic pool and whoever enters is poisoned by it?” they ask.

As Westerners look toward China as the world’s next superpower, this book is a reminder that the country’s 900 million peasants often get lost in the glitter of Shanghai’s Tiffany’s. (June)
— Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

From Booklist

China’s 900 million peasants continue to toil under a feudalistic system even as the nation enjoys economic prosperity built, in part, at their expense. The authors, husband-and-wife Chinese journalists, spent three years in Wu’s home province of Anhui to uncover the poverty of peasants betrayed by Mao’s revolution and bullied by petty bureaucrats, their labor exploited and their voices stifled.

This expose was banned by the Chinese government, and the journalists were sued for libel by government officials.

Drawing on interviews with villagers, the authors offer intimate portraits of the struggles of peasants that read with the ease and familiarity of stories but carry the urgency of news reports of lives about which little has been written.

A local peasant who complains of taxing and accounting irregularities that rob the village is killed; peasants resist a corrupt deputy village chief who appropriates their land and public funds.

Readers interested in the unseen and unreported lives of Chinese peasants will appreciate this revealing book. — Vanessa Bush Copyright © American Library Association.

Original from

Book to read: A Survey of Chinese Peasants
–- China’s hidden unrest, by Christin Jones,
–- AI report 2006- China overview(3)

Posted in Anhui, books, Chen Guidi, China, corruption, Culture, East China, Economy, income, Journalist, Life, News, People, Politics, Report, Rural, Social, Speech, World, Wu Chuntao | 3 Comments »

Book to read: A Survey of Chinese Peasants

Posted by Author on July 27, 2006

Top award winner, forbidden in China


Chinese edition: A Survey of Chinese Peasants

English edition: Will the Boat Sink the Water?: The Life of China’s Peasants
Translated by Zuo Hong, Publisher: PublicAffairs at June 26, 2006a survey of chinese peasant

Award: Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage (2004)

Authers: Wu Chuntao, and Her husband Chen Guidi

Content: “A Survey of Chinese Peasants is an expose on the inequality and injustice forced upon the Chinese peasantry, who number about 900 million. The book describes what the authors term to be a guaiquan, or vicious circle, where unjust taxes and the arbitrariness of authorities, sometimes resulting in extreme violence against the peasants, is the norm”. (by:

About the authers: Wu and Chen are both members and respected writers of the Hefei Literature Association. Mr. Chen, who is also a member of the Association of Chinese Writers, has been a recipient of the Lu Xun Literature Achievement Award—one of the most important literary prizes in China—for his piece of reportage on the environmental conditions of the Huaihe river. They both come from Chinese peasant families.

About publishing: The book took over three years to write, forcing the couple to spend all of their savings in order to produce the book. Mr. Chen and Mrs. Wu travelled to over 50 towns throughout the Anhui province, made several trips to Beijing to talk with authorities, and interviewed thousands of peasants.

The expose was first published by the literary magazine Dangdai (Modern Magazine) at the end of 2003. Seven million of which were sold throughout China.

The book was suddenly being taken off the shelf by Chinese authorities in March, 2004.

Reactions: Chen can still recall how his status in society slumped within a single day – February 25. “In the weeks before that we did more than 100 interviews, then suddenly, the phone went silent. Later some friends in the media revealed that they had been told that our book was subject to three Nos: no publicity, no serialisation and no criticism.” That did not stop a libel suit against the authors by one of the local officials they have accused of abusing his power. The verdict was expected at the end of last month, but it was postponed after Chen and Wu travelled to Berlin to collect this year’s Lettre Ulysses Award, one of the world’s most prestigious journalistic accolades. (by: The Guardian, 12 November, 2004, London)

Related report: China’s hidden unrest

Posted in books, Chen Guidi, Culture, Economy, Journalist, People, Rural, Social, Speech, Wu Chuntao | 2 Comments »