Li Cheng Peng, an outspoken ex-sports journalist turned censorship-slayer and social media darling has a new book out:
“全世界人民都知道：SmILENCE” (The Whole World Knows: SmILENCE)
He held a signing near my house in Chengdu and I went to check it out and take some photos. I bought the book and was hoping to get an autograph, but I had both my boys with me and at least 2000 people showed up with the same idea. But without toddlers to chase. Earlier on his Weibo account, Li let his 6 million+ followers know about the signing, and he also revealed a gag order from the “relevant organs”:
” … I am not allowed to let readers ask questions, I am not allowed to speak, no allowed to give opening remarks, I am not even allowed to say “Happy New Year, Thank you all” … I am not allowed to introduce Liu Sha He [a prominent Chengdu-based intellectual who was among the fist to sign Charter 08] … this is totally contrary to my understanding of dignity. They’re nuts. I’m thinking about it … “
Li Cheng Peng gets away with all sorts of things that people like Ai Weiwei and others cannot, because he is not as famous abroad as he is here in China. His clout in China is formidable. As he sat down to sign his book, he donned a black gag and the crowd roared. Several young people came with their own gags.
“He is too famous to touch,” said a girl named Yueling. “I bought three of his books just to support his cause and keep him free to speak.”
Several people bought upwards of 10 copies, some for friends, others just to show their appreciation. I will get an interview soon, and post that when I do get it. Till then, here are some pics of the book signing: