Monday, March 25, 2013

Chen Guangcheng, still making his mark in China - Zhang Lijia

Zhang Lijia
Zhang Lijia
Chen Guangcheng, the blind activist who left last year for the US, is still making his mark in his old village Linyi, Shandong province, his friend and author Zhang Lijia discovered when visiting his family during a recent trip, she reports on her weblog.

Zhang Lijia:
 During the 90 minutes drive, the talkative Lu told me all about her story. In May 2010, her house close to town center was forcefully demolished. They had a ground floor flat about 150 square meters and a yard. Altogether, Lu’s family was paid 340,000 yuan’s compensation, which would only allow the family to buy 34 square meters on the same spot. Before the demolition, the residents were told that public projects such as a parking lot and a park were to be built on the spot but Lu is convinced that the new development was purely for commercial purpose. During the demolition, conflicts occurred. Lu was beaten up, which caused her miscarriage. Ever since then, Lu has devoted herself to get compensated properly. When she heard about a blind lawyer who was willing to help people to fight for their cases, free of charge, she went to Dongshigu village to see Guangcheng, only learnt about his house arrest. Slowly she met other petitioners who introduced her to Guangfu and they became friends. When she saw how the well-known lawyer lived in poverty, she was touched. Since last autumn, Lu has been in regular skype contact with the man himself, as he encourages her to fight for her case and trying to find a lawyer for her. 
Wow, I find this fascinating. When Chen left China, there was a debate if he would fade away and become irrelevant. But he hasn’t, obviously. “Are you really in touch with Chen Guangcheng?” I asked. She replied that quite a lot of people in Linyi are in touch with him. “We Linyi people are more aware of our rights, partly because of him. Guangcheng is our inspiring model.”
Much more about her visit at Zhang Lijia's weblog.

Zhang Lijia is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers' request form.

How are China's media doing in Africa, discussed the China Weekly Hangout at March 14 with HKU-lecturer Paul Fox, Beijing-based journalist Lara Farrar, moderated by Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau.
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