Dissident says China premier's caring image a sham

Posted By: Abdul Nisar
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London, Aug.17 (ANI): A Chinese dissident is facing the possibility of being sent to jail for rubbishing Premier Wen Jiabao's image as a kindly, caring grandfather in his book.

The picture of tearful "Grandpa Wen" standing on the rubble in Beichuan after the 2008 earthquake that claimed 80,000 lives, exhorting rescuers to work harder and comforting survivors, did much to shore up support for the Communist Party at the time.

Last week, he was again on the front line, standing in the mud of Gansu, hugging the families of victims and rallying rescuers at the site of the mudslides in Zhouqu.

However, thirty-six-year-old Beijing-based Yu Jie, who is the author of the book "Wen Jiabao: China's Best Actor", has described the image and the post earthquake-related activities of the premier in 2008 as a national sham.

According to The Independent, claims that Wen was simply playing a role, acting as a mediator between an authoritarian government and its citizens in order to hold the party together.

The book also attacks the suggestion that Wen is a progressive figure, or a reformer.

"There is only one objective for all that Wen Jiabao has done since he took the reins, and it is to 'act'. He knows that this old car - the Chinese Communist Party - is going to fall apart," says an excerpt from the book.

There is little new research in it but the opinions contained in it are not generally openly expressed in China.

"Even today there are still many people who believe Wen is 'the people's good premier' who can't act on his plan because of pressure from certain interest groups," Jie writes in one essay in the book.

Jie was recently interrogated by state security after news that he was writing the book leaked out, and was told that he could end up in jail like his fellow dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Liu was given an 11-year sentence on subversion charges for airing his anti-government views in public and organising the Charter 08 pro-democracy forum.

The police said Wen was not a normal citizen - he was the premier, so criticism was not allowed. (ANI)

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