The Western world was excited this week at news the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to imprisoned Chinese democracy advocate Xi Liang Jing.
Media watchers are in consensus on the surprising development. If not for the unfortunately timed announcement of Prince William’s engagement, Mr. Jing would’ve maybe made the evening news.
Xi Liang Jing, former quality inspector at a Boeing seat factory in Shanghai, first came to world attention with his now famous 2007 blog post. Quoted in the Nobel citation, the words that will live in history read as following: “My toilet is stopped up, so why do I have to fill out a government request for a plumber? And then when the plumber finally shows up, he asks for a 100 Yuan bribe! Shouldn’t there be a better way of getting a toilet fixed than this?”
Since then, little has been known of Mr. Jing’s whereabouts, except for government press releases and third person reports. Reached for comment in 2009, Jing’s sister Xi Peng Chang was quite positive on his life in prison. “Oh he fine, just fine. You say I said that. I got a kid. Mister, you got a kid you love? You say I said that.”
In the ever tumultuous relationship between the Middle Kingdom and the West, the Xi Liang Jing Nobel Prize is no exception. Mr. Jing has issued a statement on the award, with help from a Chinese government provided interpreter.
“Dear friends, I thank you for your benevolent intent, but I don’t think you understand life in China. I haven’t seen daylight since the year of the Ox— air quality in Chinese cities is comparable with that in Western cities—
“These people, they beat the living— economic expectations for growth consistently— out of me every day for no particular reason. And when they get bored doing that they make me eat my own— nutritious meals— just for laughs while they stand around. I understand you mean well, but I have to live my own life.
“I don’t really care about your award, or whether Bono asks for a moment of silence on my behalf at next year’s Glastonbury festival. Your Nobel or Mr. Bono’s comments won’t change my existence in this— economic powerhouse daily emerging into its rightful place as world leader— except to make it worse. So that’s all I’m saying?”