Drinking tea

2 March 2010

Strobist Tea

Lets have some tea, shall we?
By Doha Sam,
used under cc license

Via CDT:
” (喝茶) is now a common vocabulary in online political discourse. It refers to the widespread practices by police or other authorities to harass, intimidate and conduct information-gathering on citizens for their political activities. Although each such “Tea” session always comes with the warning to keep the conversation to oneself, more and more netizens have been sharing their “Drinking Tea” experiences; ...

Here is another example of a “” experience, from a college student, shared within a private online community, translated by
Luke Habberstad:

This year (2009) I am 23 years old.

For the most part, prior to my 21st year, when I thought about issues it was always the thinking of a government education. Later, I went online and saw some unimaginable things. Then, after going through some personal experiences myself, such as my family being extorted by the police when they did business, I became very disillusioned with reality. I could not accept this completely inhuman government.

Later I started using my own QQ space, QQ screen name, and blog to disseminate some articles, usually by reposting them. Most of the articles were on bullogger, with Ran Yunfei and Ai Weiwei being the most prominent authors. I used my QQ screen name mostly to post some comments from micro-blogs.

Last year on was the first time that I directly felt the Internet controls. Many domestic websites were temporarily closed, and Twitter and some foreign websites were temporarily blacked out.

That day I was at school in class, and I visited Ai Weiwei’s independent blog. I found an article that he wrote, and I posted it over to the daily journal on my QQ space. I didn’t realize that I had hit upon a taboo word: 64 (i.e. ). The article did not successfully post, and I thought that the taboo words on QQ had increased; I remembered that previously this word was not a problem. Then I added a comma in between the numbers, and was able to post the article.

Half an hour later, a woman who worked as an Internet monitor at the school entered the classroom. She whispered a few words to our teacher and then she came over to my machine to check the computer’s number and then left. Then, the department director came in and ordered me to go to his office. He started to interrogate me with questions, asking if I had entered the Party, if I had considered going abroad, etc. Then he ordered another female teacher to go buy me some food. At noon, I asked him when I would be able to leave, and he said that the school’s Party Secretary was in the Dean’s office waiting for me. Pretending to be naïve, I asked him what for. He also pretended to be native, and said that he did not know, but that they would explain when I arrived. I finished eating and we left. I felt disturbed, and inside I was a mess. The director and this other woman took me to the Dean’s office, and I sat in front of a table. They sat in the seats across from me (the office was large and luxurious), and then told me to wait. After a bit, the school’s Party Secretary came in. He was older, maybe 50 to 60 years old, a shrewd-looking person. He also had a companion who followed him in, carrying a notebook. Then, the old man started to talk.

I will briefly describe his points:

1) During a routine examination, Internet monitors had discovered that my QQ space contained “unharmonious” speech. They called to inform him, at the same time as the city’s Internet censors also called him.

2) He asked how I had obtained this article, since it had appeared on my space. I made something up, saying that I had seen the article on a Baidu bulletin board while surfing, and just posted it on my space, and that I hadn’t really read its content.

3) Then he started to talk about . He said that the Party and the nation had long since come to a conclusion about the affair, that it was an XXXX rebellion. He said that the Falun Gong from abroad is an anti-Party group, and took advantage of the Internet to corrupt young people inside the country. He said that my actions were extremely serious, harmful to social stability, etc. In the end, he wasted an hour jerking off like this. In order to not fuck up my ability to continue in my studies, I played naïve and stupid, and finally I went back and deleted the article off my QQ space.

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