Sunday, May 24, 2009
There are studies out there purporting to show that Chinese citizens score their government higher on various measures of satisfaction and legitimacy than do citizens of many Western democracies. It has always seemed to me naive to take these at face value and to assume that they really measure something comparable; for example, Americans asked if they are satisfied with their government can easily conceive of an alternative - having the other party in power - whereas Chinese might well consider the alternative to CCP rule to be chaos and civil war. One's perception of the alternatives is going to shape one's answer. But even more telling is the unquantifiable but constant drumbeat of news stories indicating that dissatisfaction with officialdom goes way beyond what we see in the countries that score lower than China in these polls. It is hard to imagine something like the Yang Jia case in the US, for example - when popular opinion is overwhelmingly sympathetic to someone who goes into a police station and brutally murders several officers who had not personally done anything to him.
In any case, the lastest example of this is the story of Deng Yujiao, a waitress in an entertainment club - probably a dodgy karaoke of some kind - who fatally stabbed a local official who wanted sexual services from her. Below is the introduction to her story from China Elections and Governance; full text here.
This year's unlikely heroine is Deng Yujiao, a 21 year old waitress at an entertainment club in Badong County, Hubei. On Sunday May 10, she became the perpetrator in the stabbing murder of Deng Guida, a township level official, and she also injured his companion and colleague Huang Dezhi.