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Guo Degang · Guns · Dream Project


September 2010 Issue, Hi Art

Affairs about Guo Degang, guns and the Dream Project happened in three counties. They are different from each other, but all of them have more or less reflected the relationship between citizens and the government’s authority from various aspects.

Recently, Guo Degang’s house encroached on the public green space. A reporter from the local TV station went there to do an interview but was beaten by Guo’s student. After that Guo expressed his dissatisfaction at the reporter’s intruding without permission, cursed Beijing Television Station with rude words and said that his student’s deed was entirely reasonable. A few days later, CCTV seriously criticized Guo with several successive parallel sentences in its programme News Studio, saying that ‘between venting his anger and accepting social responsibility as a public figure, he has habitually chosen the former. Vulgar, pulp and kitsch, Guo, the well-known cross-talk actor, is so ugly in front of citizens.’ Successively, Xinhua News Agency published a commentary ‘Public Figures Should Be Self-respecting under Supervision’ which pointed out ‘It is public figures’ duty to be kind to the public and to the society.’ Then People’s Daily also commented on that in ‘Literary and Art Workers Should Be in Charge of Common People’s Spiritual and Mental Construction’, ‘It is natural for literary and art workers to take charge of common people’s spiritual and mental construction, no matter in active or negative manners. If they overlook that point and blend themselves with people poor in dignity, then not only the actor himself and his audience, but also the whole occupation and industry will suffer from his deeds.’ Recently Guo’s books and audio-visual products have been removed from big book stores and video shops, and staff from Audio-Visual Department of Beijing Book Building expressed that they did so in accordance with relevant notifications.

On June 28th, the U.S. Supreme Court supported the demand made by McDonnell, a Chicago citizen, of purchasing guns, with 5 voted for it and 4 against. The verdict stated that provisions about purchasing guns by citizens in the Constitution are also applicable to other laws in each state all over America. In America, guns are as common as daily necessities such as kitchen knives in Chinese families. For Americans guns are more than weapons; they symbolize citizens’ rights. The Chinese saying ‘Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun’ will not work in America. The Second Amendment of U.S. Constitution made in 1791 states, ‘People’s rights to possess and carry guns must not be infringed.’ In America, which has 170 thousand gun shops, almost everyone has a gun; there are 250 million various guns privately owned, and 7 billion bullets are sold out per year. Tom King, Chairman of New York Pistol and Rifle Association, said that they had serious laws on guns, but laws were only of use to law-abiding people; what kill a fellow were not guns but people. Up to now, 17 countries, such as England, France, Germany and America, allow their citizens to possess firearms, among which Switzerland permits the possession of semi-automatic rifles.

Recently, the Dream Project has been voted down by the Congress of Vietnam. The project was put out by Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister as well as the member of Vietnamese Communist Central Committee. According to the plan, 56 billion dollars will be invested in the construction of a south-north high speed railway connecting Hanoi, the political center, and Ho Chi Minh City, the economical center, together. In the light of Vietnamese laws, any projects with a budget above 1.9 billion dollars have to be approved by the congress. In August, 2009, the government had signed a primary Cooperation Intension with Shinkansen, a Japanese company, through Vietnam National Rail Corporation. After a year’s preparation, the proposal of the project was submitted to the Congress for deliberations. However, to people’s surprise, severe dispute still arose during the 7th Session of the 12th Congress, and at last the proposal was rejected, with 185 of 427 attendants voted for it, 208 voted against and 34 abstained. The opponents’ reason was that the project would cost a lot and hence impose heavy burden to citizens; besides, the railway ticket would be too expensive to benefit peasants well. Since 1993, representatives in Vietnam Congress have been chosen under national direct election; they are full-time or part-time. Full-time representatives account for a quarter of the total, and the percentage is on the rise. In 2002, Vietnam Congress adopted the Query System, and since then the officials have to be challenged by representatives at various levels, with even the ministers so awkward as to sweat and stammer. Since 2008, the process of Query began to be broadcasted live to all citizens, which has forced officials receiving queries to use their authority with extreme caution.

Zhu Wei

Sunday, August 15th, 2010





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