Property Tycoon ‘Cannon’ Ren Incommunicado After Critical Article Appears

Sandra Loyd

Chinese social media star and property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang is incommunicado, thought apprehended, after an article critical of the federal government’s reaction to the development of the coronavirus in Wuhan appeared online.

Overseas democracy activist Han Lianchao stated by means of his Twitter account on Friday that Ren is currently being examined by the Beijing community branch of the judgment Chinese Communist Celebration’s Central Commission for Discipline Assessment Commission (CCDI).

Pointing Out “friends in mainland China,” Han stated Ren was apprehended on Thursday, and is being held at a CCDI training center in a residential area of Beijing.

A number of other popular figures pointed out the disappearance of Ren, whose outspoken talk about social media have actually made him the label “Cannon.”

Private business owner Wang Ying posted to his pal circle in the social media app WeChat: “My friend Ren Zhiqiang is incommunicado! … Where are you?”

The post gathered worried replies from Beijing Movie Academy teacher Cui Weiping, journalism teacher Hu Yong, Tianjin history teacher Li Dongjun, and economic expert Wen Kejian.

Ren’s detention follows an article striking out at the federal government reaction to the coronavirus epidemic flowedonline The article was credited to one “Ren Zhiqiang,” however RFA was not able to confirm whether he composed it.

Beijing historian and present affairs analyst Zhang Lifan stated the article might have been composed by Ren, however it stays uncertain who the author is.

Disciplined over criticism of Xi

He stated Ren has actually been targeted by the CCDI previously, for slamming President Xi Jinping’s persistence that the media serve just the Communist Celebration’s program.

” A couple of years back, he slammed [Xi’s call] for the media to bear the very same surname as the celebration, and was disciplined for it,” Zhang stated.

“Everyone knows that had to do with party censorship of the media, but this time we can only guess,” he stated. “People are just guessing that there’s a link with this article.”

The article, entitled “The lives of the people are ruined by the virus and a seriously sick system,” does not discuss President Xi, however it takes objective at choices made under his direct command, nevertheless, consisting of the decision to proceed with a mass Lunar New Year banquet for countless individuals that led to a substantial cluster of COVID-19 cases in the weeks that followed.

“The emperor is holding up a piece of cloth, trying to cover up the fact that he is wearing no clothes at all, although his ambition to be a strong leader is naked enough,” the article quipped.

“No criticism of the mass assembly of 170,000 people has emerged, and the truth has never been uncovered, nor the cause of the outbreak discovered,” the article stated.

“The covert propaganda around the decisions made during the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic will only deceive those who are willing to be deceived,” it stated. “It won’t mend those families broken by … lost loved ones.”

The article likewise disagreed with the allegation by authorities that 8 Wuhan medical personnel were “rumor-mongering” when they attempted to inform the authorities about the severe illness brought on by a brand-new infection.

Xinhua puffery reports granted

Xi has actually bought China’s media to follow the celebration line, concentrate on “positive reporting”, and “speak the party’s will and protect the party’s authority and unity.”

Ren was scolded by state media in 2016 for triggering turmoil and for stopping working to defend the celebration, and for “pursuing Western constitutionalism.”

On the other hand, authorities released an award to Liao Jun, a press reporter in the Hubei provincial bureau of state news firm Xinhua, for her reporting of the epidemic, triggering mad remarks online.

Liao had actually authored articles declaring that there was no human-to-human transmission of the infection in the early days of the epidemic, and striking out at medical personnel for “rumor-mongering” when they attempted to caution individuals about COVID-19

A Hubei citizen surnamed Mao informed RFA that Liao is really senior at Xinhua.

“She was the one who wrote the story about the eight medics accused of rumor-mongering,” Mao stated. “She also wrote one quoting experts as saying that there was no person-to-person transmission.”

“She has also written a whole string of positive news items about the coronavirus epidemic … she was awarded the highest honor,” he stated.

Inquired About the online criticism of Liao, he stated: “I do not believe there’s a lot to state about her as a specific, since she needed to do those things. Whatever she does is figured out by her task and her identity [in the Communist Party system].”

Reported by Fong Tak-ho and Lau Siu-fung for RFA’s Cantonese Service, and by Qiao Wish For the Mandarin Service. Equated and modified by Luisetta Mudie.

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