She did her PhD at Beijing Normal University from 1987 to 1990, major in ethnic studies. She has been a professor of sociology at Tsinghua since 2000.
There is a part of a series of Building Civil Society interviews uploaded by social activist Laohumiao 老虎庙 on youtube in 2011:
Transcription of part of the 19-minute interview:
China’s situation is like this: the state power is very strong, the market is also very open, and basically the market economy is set up. But the special characteristics of China is that the relationship between the State and the market is very close. For a relatively normal or healthy society, there should be separation among the state, market and society - they should be three independent pillars. There should be compliment and balance among the three. However, over so many years I feel the space for society in China is very small. It is oppressed by power. And it is occupied by the combination of power and market. The society has never really grown. So we hope to look for the growing point during China’s transition time.
The myth of this system (communist ideology) is that this so-called “grand socialist ideal” and “beautiful communist blueprint” seems to have nothing to do with farmers. Let alone farmers, even most of the intellectuals can’t really acknowledge it. Except a few founders of the Communist Party, what does this has anything to do with most people? From this perspective, this set of ideology can’t be successful. However, in reality it has influenced many people. So many people struggle, sacrifice and contribute to it. Therefore it is worthwhile to study how come it has mobilized so many people and come into so many people’s hearts and minds and changed their lives and social relations, or even changed their spiritual worlds. This is what we need to understand and analyze.
For example, for some contemporary labor research, some scholars blame neo-liberalism. they believe Chinese laborers are the worst in the world and the root of the problem is neoliberalist capital globalization. I would first like to ask, where is China’s liberalism? There is no liberalism in China, why do they criticize neo-liberalism? The origin of China’s labor problem is social inequality due to the power of the state. Of course there is influence from global capitalism, but it is not the direct reason. Looking all over the world, there is no other place where their capitalists could exploit their laborers like their Chinese counterparts. Besides, after being exploited, workers from other countries could fight back or strike, but could Chinese workers do this? Once there is strike it is going to be harmonized by the government. This is Chinese characteristics.
Based on our understanding of the common sense, the “universal value” is the common value and civilization accumulated throughout the long history of human progress, generally includes liberty, democracy, science, human rights, rule of law, equality and fraternity. It is not difficult to understand for most people. To spell it out more, it is the value everyone needs and everyone likes. Some people could put it more extremely and says it is something even the thugs can’t deny publicly. Right, if it is something that even thugs acknowledges and abides by, do we still need to discuss it? Denouncing universal value basically means announcing: I am unreasonable.
Therefore, no matter how steady forwardly Chinese people strive to keep their “characteristics” and how strongly they object Western modernity and want to form their own modernity, therefore venturing a path that is superior to the West, to realize the great reunification of the Chinese nation, they can’t do this based against the principle of universal value. They also can’t object the mainstream of civilization, unless they are a bunch of thugs who don’t know what is right or wrong, what is black or white.
This was the first time that the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Televi
sion issued a written warning to the liberal magazine, criticizing them for publishing several articles that were against the rules and regulations. General chief editor Mr. Yang Jisheng was also asked to leave the editorial board.
AP reports that there is 34% more civil servants resigned this year compared to the same period in last year. Spokesperson of Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security says there are some civil servants who have resigned but it is normal mobility of human resources.