Maria Holland

UA898

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Hopefully you all are aware of the escape of Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng and subsequent international political drama surrounding his treatment.  If you’re not, read up – it comes off as quite the thriller, what with him pretending weakness only to escape in the middle of the night, when his blindness actually gave him an advantage.

I just wanted to share a paragraph from an article that I found particularly interesting, talking about the surreptitious ways the Chinese have come up with to refer to him without censorship:

First he was “blind lawyer;” then “blind man,” then “A Bing,” a reference to a nationally famous blind singer. All were blotted out by the Chinese government’s pervasive, highly computerized security apparatus. Lately, his plight has been referred to as “UA898” — the daily United Airlines flight from Beijing to Washington which, this week, has come to symbolize Mr. Chen’s demand to emigrate to the United States rather than face an uncertain future in his homeland.

Who says the Chinese aren’t creative?

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  1. I just stumbled onto your blog and found it interesting – especially about Xiamen. In 2009 I was in Zhangzhou woth a team of several teachers for an English-language camp sponsored by bridges for Eduacation at private secondary school in Zhanzhou. A couple of us attended Mass twice to the large Catholic Church in Zhangzhou and we received a blessing from the priest there. Underground/Aboveground? I don’t know, but we were warmly welcomed by several English-speaking parishioners. The music and singing was excellent and the church was full. They expressed their joy that we were Catholic (they asked). We weere the only westerners in the church. Before returning to the US, we spent a day and a halfin Xiamen, but because of dangerous tides from a nearby typhoon, we couldn’t go to the island where the Catholic church is. It had been planned, but we had to do other things, such as visit Xiamen University and the park where historically a battery of cannons once fired on the British ad which was re-enacted that day.
    Last year I did read of the ordination of your bishop and that he was “approved” by the Pope and the first bishop in decades. I think often about the Church there.
    In 2010 my wife and I did a 17 day tour of China and visited a Catholic Church in Wuhan, near the harbor, and also another Catholic Church right alongside the harbor of another small town on the Yangtze.

    • I’m glad you find my journal interesting – I haven’t been updating it much recently, though. I think I’ve been to the church in Zhangzhou – I believe that’s where the bishop was from, and we went for his First Mass. If it was a big church, then it must have been patriotic (above ground), but I’m glad you had a positive experience (as I did). Thanks for your comment!

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