Dispatches From the Moderate Left

Friday, June 17, 2005

Picture of the Week

Following on from last week's picture, here's a slightly modified picture of Chen Yonglin, the former Chinese diplomat who is currently seeking political asylum in Australia:

According to a comment here, 'throughout recent Chinese history, a red cross through someone's face in a photograph meant they were either dead or purged or both', though I can't verify that statement (you try Googling anything containing the phrase 'red cross' and China!). The story behind the picture was covered on Senator Andrew Bartlett's Blog. The picture appeared on the website of the

Australian Chinese Students Patriotic Association (ACSPA). According to the site this is 'a non-commercial, non-government organisation founded by Chinese students in Canberra Australia (whose) main purpose is to introduce a modern, free and democratic China to Australia and its people.' (emphasis added)

The author of the post in which the picture appeared said 'if it were up to me, I'd kill this punk'. The president of the club has since pulled the site and apologised for the comments. Hopefully this was just the sort of random extreme statement many have been known to make on the internet, but the general sentiment expressed there and in many of the other comments by members of the club are still a little disturbing.


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