Panda in Shenzhen Zoo Sick, Hungry & Exploited

Poor panda, poor Yongba in Shenzhen.

This is a recent internet topic that is spreading on the Chinese internet. It was posted less than two days ago on 2008 January 5. It is about a 25-year-old female panda named Yongba who is now living at the Shenzhen Wild Animal Park (their website currently does not work) and the heartbreak of a netizen who went to see her one afternoon.

From Tianya and Mop:

Yongba is 25-years-old this year. One year for pandas is similar to about 3-4 years for humans, so Yongbu can be said to have entered her final ailing years. She came to settle at the Shenzhen Wild Animal Park in 2004. I am ashamed, I only started paying attention to our national treasures’ lives after the 5.12 [Sichuan] earthquake last year, having spent a little over two months in our Panda Homeland BBS discussion forum. In our crowd, there is a friend who said Yongba is in Shenzhen, and what more, has heard that her life is not very good there. It was because of this that I found time yesterday to go take a look at her. Upon seeing her, I truly could not stop myself from crying outside her cage.

This is an older picture of Yongba when she was only 12-years-old and much healthier than now.

The above is a picture of Yongba when she was young [13 years ago, in 1995], a very pretty panda. Tian Tian inherited her eye spots.

Yesterday noon, I went to the the Shenzhen Wild Animal Park [Zoo]. Right upon entering the Panda exhibit there were workers calling out: Buy panda souvenirs. Then there was a worker who followed me saying: We can let you take a picture with the panda. I asked him: “How?” He replied: “We can have the panda come to the outer cage. We will take the picture for you, 10 RMB each.”

At the time, I only replied: “Maybe later, let me first go look at the panda.” Upon seeing Yongba, she was in the inner cage, and the glass had not been cleaned in a long time. Yongba was banging on a metal door in the inner cage. A little while later, I saw a worker bring her a bowl of milk and a few sticks of bamboo. Yongba drank the milk and ate the bamboo. Finished eating, about 10-20 minutes later, Yongba again goes and knocks on that metal door.

I stayed at there [the zoo] an entire afternoon. Upon seeing there tourists come over, the workers tell them that they can take pictures with the panda, each time 10 RMB. There were indeed two sets of tourists who came over to take pictures.

When there are guests who want to take pictures, they [the workers] open the small door that lets Yongba go from her inner cage to the outer cage. Yongba will then come to the outer cage. I felt this is not something recent, but something that has been happening for a long time. Once Yongba arrives at the outer cage, workers stick a small piece of apple on a bamboo stick and give it to Yongba while the visitors sit in front of Yongba to take a picture. There is even a worker who uses a toy gun making noises to get Yongba to look at the camera lense. For each picture taken [with tourists], Yongba can get two small pieces of apple. After the picture is taken, Yongba immediately returns to her inner cage, never looking back, as if maintaining her last remaining bit of self-respect. Once Yongba returns to her inner cage, the little door connecting the inner cage and outer cage is shut. I stayed an entire afternoon, there were two sets of visitors who took pictures [with Yongba].

While I was at Yongba’s outer cage, I saw Yongba every 10-20 minutes would go knock on that big metal door where the first worker mentioned above brought her food, only then realizing that Yongba was asking for food from the workers.

I asked the worker: How much food do you give Yongba a day?

The worker replied: Each day, milk two times, “wowotou” three times [a type of steamed bread made of corn].

I asked further: Are nutrients added to the milk?

The worker replied: No.

Me: These bamboo, where are they shipped from?

Worker: They come from here, Shenzhen.

According to my observations all afternoon, Yongba is presently 25-years-old, and has very little capacity to eat bamboo leaves. After returning [home] last night, I asked [probably online] a panda nanny [someone who takes care of baby pandas?], and the panda nanny said: usually old pandas should not be drinking milk because it is bad for their bodies. A Fuzhou grandmother panda [old female panda] named Ba Si eats chopped bamboo leaves and two apples a day that have been shredded. Moreover, old pandas usually begin collecting water in their stomachs [swelling?], so Ba Si has been taking medication and other health products. But for Yongba, these are luxuries. Each day, Yongba can only eat two bowls of milk, three “wo wo tou” [a small cone-shaped steamed bread made of corn], can only get apples by taking pictures with tourists, and each time only two small pieces. Yongba does not get any medicine or health products. Perhaps a 25-year-old panda is already of no more use or value in many people’s eyes. When she was young, she made a huge contribution to the panda population by breeding a circle of pandas. Her sons, Tian Tian and Long Fei (now at Fuzhou Panda World), daughter Xi Xi (the giant panda that was lost in the 5.12 [Sichuan] earthquake and later found), Fei Fei. Amongst the Olympic pandas, Mei Qiao and Feng Yi were both Yongba’s grandchildren. Now hat she is old, unable to give birth anymore, she had no choice but to come to Shenzhen Wild Animal Park to spend her old years Can it be that we cannot give Yongba a little respect and some concern?

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A picture of Yongba looking up from her outer cage, waiting for the zoo staff to give her two pieces of apple as a 'reward' for taking pictures with zoo tourists.

This is a recent picture of Yongba, standing where she takes pictures with tourists. Her energy is very different compared to other pandas her age, Dong Dong and Ming Ming, and Ba Si who is even older than her. Yongba looks truly like an old lady.

Yongba is given two pieces of apple for each photograph she takes with zoo visitors.

Workers stick a small piece of apple on a bamboo stick to give her, while tourists take pictures in front of her. Everyoen can see Yongba’s four limbs are all very emaciated, but her stomach is very big. Old pandas usually all have ascites. However, from the coversations I had with the workers, Shenzhen Wild Animal Park do not give Yongba regular medical check-ups, and have no considerations with regard to food. While I was there for the entire afternoon, Yongba only defecated twice, the feces amout was very little, and it was obvious that it took her a lot of effort to defecate. Because Shenzhen’s climate is humid, it even easy for humans to develop constipation. In this aspect, Shenzhen Wild Animal Park also have not given any special care [to Yongba].

Netizens say her large, hanging belly shows that she is not healthy and not being taken care of properly.

This picture is particularly obvious that Yongba’s body size is very small, similar to a 2 to 3-year-old pre-adolescent panda’s body size, but her abdomen is very large. Usually old pandas will all have ascites. Because Yongba generally always stays in the inner cage and the inner cage’s glass is reflective, the picture is very unclear.

Hungry, Yongba bangs against the metal door where the zoo staff delivers food. She is begging for more food.

Every 10-20 minutes, Yongba will go beat on this metal door. The workers deliver her meals through this metal door. is where the workers give her food on the metal door. According to the amount of food the workers said they give Yongba when I asked, I do not think Yongba has enough to eat.

A picture of Shenzhen zoo workers arranging tourists to get a picture with the panda, Yongba.

When there are tourists willing to pay 10 RMB for a picture, workers will put Yongba in the outer cage. The tourist will sit on this threshold with Yongba behind them. The person holding the long stick is a worker.

After taking a picture with zoo guests, Yongba immediately goes back to her cage.

After taking the picture with the tourist, Yongba immediately returns to her inner cage and the little door between the inner cage and outer cage is immediately closed. Looking at the words “Giant Panda is precious” painted on the fake stone, I feel it is a kind of ridicule.

Yongba stays awake all day hoping to get more apples by taking pictures with zoo visitors who pay 10 RMB each picture.

Unbearably, I could only watch Yongba through the glass. This inner cage is also where Yongba sleeps at night. There for an entire afternoon, Yongba basically did not sleep. Maybe she remembers she has the task of taking pictures, and that each time she can get two small pieces of apply. Usually old pandas should spend most of their days sleeping, just like how people are always complaining that when they go to see pandas, the pandas are always sleeping. Actually, people should not complain, them being able to sleep is a good thing. Watching Yongba, I felt really awful in my heart.

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A picture of a sad and old Yongba.

Yongba, are you resentful? Do you resent the people who sent you here to Shenzhen Wild Animal Park, resent the people who take care of you at Shenzhen Wild Animal Park? Actually, we should not say “take care,” we should say the people who are still trying to squeeze some profit off your body. Do you miss your children? Tian Tian is living very well in America, and gave you a very beautiful and cute grandson called Taishan. The Americans like their family of three very much. Your daughter Xi Xi and Fei Fei are both very pretty, both inheriting your good looks. For the 8 Olympic pandas, your two grandchildren Mei Xi and Feng Yi were both chosen and are still in Beijing right now. Mei Xi is very beautiful and Feng Yi’s disposition is very good, often smiling at people. Your little son, Long Fei, is currently in Fuzhou. You can rest easy, Fuzhou Panda World all treat pandas very well.

A sign about Ming Ming, a giant panda in Guangzhou.

This is a picture I took when I when I went to Guangzhou Xiangjiang Safari Park to see old grandmother Ming Ming last year in November. Ming Ming is older than Yongba by 5 years, but Ming Ming’s energy is very good. She is drinking the zoo’s specially prepared drink.

Ming Ming, a giant panda in Guangzhou Zoo eating from a big bowl.

This is a picture of old grandmother Ming Ming having her drink. You can see that Ming Ming’s energy is very good and Xiangjiang Safari Park takes very good care of her.

Giant panda Ming Ming in Guangzhou lying down.

After finishing drinking, old lady Ming Ming rests happily lying on her back with her four legs sticking up towards the sky. Seeing this kind of circumstances, it really makes people feel relaxed [unworried].

Comments from Tianya:

Can it be that the zoo is so poor that it cannot afford to give the national treasure [panda] good food?

I strongly demand changing Yongba’s living environment, but what can be changed only relying on the internet’s power? The internet can human flesh search bad people, can punish, but is truly powerless in regards to the panda that lives there…I do not know how we can help it. What should we do?

I remember the Chengdu Research Base’s “gun gun” [a nickname for “pandas” that means “rolling things” like how pandas play], they were living very happily….
Every Spring Festival when I return home, I go visit “gun gun“…but no break this year, cannot go back, tears flowing…

Not allowed to abuse pandas!
Not allowed to abuse pandas!
Not allowed to abuse pandas!
Not allowed to abuse pandas!

This is the reality of the world. Even if it has the halo of national treasure, so what?
Moreover, every animal in every zoo all do not live well, right?
I do not know how we can help them.

I fucking really want to buy a train of apples and crash it onto the Shenzhen Zoo boss’s face! Are you fucking still human?
Reading this was unbearable, I cannot take it anymore. Tomorrow I will begin to make phone calls. Everyone work together, and hopefully we can give Yongba a more comfortable environment. It would be good if she can just get eat enough to eat. This outcome is truly not what she deserves.

This is the first Tianya topic I have replied to. Seeing this makes me want to cry. “Ding” this up, so Yongba’s life in her final years will not be this tragic!

Upon reading the part where she knocks on the metal door every 20 minutes to ask for food, I felt so terrible. Keeping “gun gun” hanging like this, is it because they are afraid she will go to sleep after she is full and they cannot make money using her to take pictures with? The zoo is too inhumane!

The more I look at Yongba, the more terrible I feel.
The “gun gun” I remember seeing, if they not playing, they were eating bamboo, eating “wotou,” eating fruit, or sleeping.
Last time I saw a show that said “gun gun” are animals that eat, then sleep, then eat~~~ now, in order to get such a small piece of apple, she forces herself to stay upright~~
So sad~~~ Yongba ~~ I will buy a pile of apples for you ~~~ you be good and go to sleep~~

It is old now and no longer has any value for exploitation so it is thrown to a side.
I do not think the zoo cannot afford to give her more food, but rather they hope it can hurry up and die because it no longer has any value for exploitation.

Ding.” I also used to like going to the zoo but now that I go, I just feel awful when seeing them~~~
Poor Yongba. I just want to ask, of the people who take care of the animals in the zoo, just how many truly love them [the animals]? I even bang my head [against the ground] wanting to a job of taking care of pandas~~~

Another netizen in the comments for the Tianya post also posted this old story about baby tigers being abused also in a Guangzhou province zoo (probably the same one):

[The workers at] Shenzhen Wild Animal Park truly are not human!!!

Abuse of baby tigers in Guangzhou Zoo

Guangdong News. Yesterday (October 4) was “World Animal Day,” and this Guangzhou zoo was condemned by visitors for the abuse of baby tigers. Souvenir photo workers beating little tigers caused children to cry out and adults to feel regret.

The exposer Mr. Liu. said that the zoo’s souvenir photo department arranged for two tiger cubs to be on a 1 square meter wooden platform to take pictures with visitors. If the tiger cubs try to leave the wooden platform even a little, the workers will “disicipline” with various “tiger-control” methods they created. WIthin about half an hour, Mr. Liu witnessed six commonly used “actions”: using both hands to raise the tiger then slamming it down, using one hand to raise and slam, full-force pressing on the tigers head, using a bamboo whip to whip the tiger’s nose, seizing and lifting a tiger by the ear, and slapping the tiger’s face.

Mr. Liu was startled when seeing such casual and rough actions. As a zoo that protects animals and disseminates information, such behaviors should not be allowed to exist.

A report of a Guangzhou zoo abusing baby tigers.

Strongly protest Shenzhen Wild Animal Park workers rough abusive of animals!!!
Ding [this topic] until something is done!!!

Tiger cub being pressed down by zoo worker.

Seizing and lifting a tiger by the ear.

Tiger cub being raised into the air by its ear.

Anther Tianya member replying to this topic later posted more pictures of Yongba from 2008:

Let me post a few pictures of what the panda looked like when I when I went to Shenzhen Wild Animal Park in 2008 March.
Very thin, abdomen very large, body very dirty, walked around very slowly, very sad.

Yongba in March 2008, also in Shenzhen.

The giant panda in Shenzhen Wild Animal Park.

The panda also did not look healthy almost one year ago.

One more picture. Look at how skinny and bony she is. My heart really hurts.

Yongba looks thin and bony.

This original poster updated the first post with information on who to call or contact to complain:

China Forestry Bureau Tel:
84238800 (114 investigation, switchboard to change)
010-84238568 (National Giant Panda Management Office)

Guangdong Forestry Bureau Tel:
83340326 83389053

China Wildlife Conservation Association
Tel: 010-84239015

World Wide Fund for Nature

World Organization for Animal Protection Association

Today, the Tianya post was updated again with this news:

Newest progress report, related department taking action:

Investigation: Shenzhen Wild Animal Park asked to rectify and reform [from Sina]

Sichaun News Network January 7 report: Yesterday, Li Desheng told this reporter that China Giant Panda Research Center has received reports, and at present has already asked Shenzhen Wild Animal Park, where “Yongba” is currently living, for a written reply and a deadline for when the current problem will be fixed. Shenzhen Wild Animal Park is denying that “Yongba” is being “abused.” Li Desheng states that there may be a problem with a segment within Shenzhen Wild Animal Park but until the final investigation results come out, we cannot be sure that there is a situation of “abuse” towards “Yongba” in this zoo. Li Deshen says if netizen reports are truly so bad, China Giant Panda Research Center will consider taking “Yong ba” back to Wolong.

The Guangdong Province Foresty Department yesterday afternoon also stated that they are presently investigating this matter. (Chengdu Business Newspaper) (Original text from: Sichuan News Network, Journalist: Liu Wei & Guo Jingjing)

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    Some posts were deleted by accident this morning and I was force to reload an old backup of the website. The website has been very slow, so I have spend the last 6-7 hours trying to fix everything. Before I reload the old backup database, I tried to save most of the comments for the new posts but I know some comments have been lost. Here are the comments I saved:

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    What has the world come to when animals are mistreated in China?

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    i’m not surprised. i’ve been to shanghai zoo last week and it was the same, if not worse. one very sad looking panda in a very small and dirty cage. shame on them! so much for a “national trasure”

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 1:19 am

    When I was in Sichuan I went to a horrifying zoo; one of the animals there was a bear in a pit and to make money the zoo literally had a menu of animals, you could pay them and they would feed that animal to the bear. The bigger the more expensive, of course. What does it say about a people when watching animals get ripped to pieces is entertainment that you pay for? It’s not just Sichuan, because on the other side of the country in Heilongjiang they have a Siberian Tiger reserve that has the same thing. Also, the fact these types of business models exist serve to prove that there is definitely an active market for these things. Before you fenqing and panda-lovers get your panties in a wad and point out animal abuses in the West through grit teeth, remember that just because a sin happens elsewhere in the world doesn’t mean it absolves the guilt of China doing it, nor does it cancel out one’s ability to criticize it. ;D

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 1:40 am

    This is so sad!!! Isn’t there an international organization that deals with these sort of things???

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 4:25 am

    This is disgusting. I believe there’s plenty of funding to protect panda, so how come the zoo worker treat panda like this?

    @ 哈哈哈

    You lost your sense after the “Before you fenqing..” sentence. Can you find a single translated comment that supports the mistreat or use foreign abuse as an excuse? Don’t stereotype a country and its people. It’s funny you used the word fenqing since your comments make you fit into that category pretty well: fenqing attack everything blindly because of their childish(qing) angry(fen) mood.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 5:05 am

    It is so very expensive to keep pandas. There are only four zoos here that have any. They have to pay China $1 million a year and any profits to borrow the animals. The only way they can afford it is to take donations, at the zoo and on the internet. They also find corporate sponsorships to help bring the cost down. Even then each zoo loses about $4 million a year on care and feeding.

    It might be that Shenzhen just doesn’t have the money to properly care for Yongba. Maybe that’s why they try so hard to sell souvenirs.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 7:00 am

    lack of regulation/enforcement = lack of requirement for qualification = lack of education and qualification = anyone can become a keeper = animal abuse

    once the men at the top fix all the other crap, maybe they will come around to the zoos.

    now quit bitching noobs.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 8:27 am


    First of all, when does comments from a blog count as a proper guage of a social phenomenon? That’s a stupid thing to think of. Just because comments on that particular post show an outpouring of disapproval against the treatment of this panda doesn’t mean that animal abuse in China *isn’t* a large-scale social problem enabled by the apathy of most Chinese people. You could find blog comments on any number of blog posts that could depict the Chinese people in any number of ways (except, of course, critical of the government because those get deleted). I would think someone like you would be more intelligent than to suggest individuals use blog comments to inform their opinions on Chinese culture, because if you really subscribe to that belief I could “prove” to you with your own standards that the Chinese are a bunch of mindless nationalist idiots; they’re not, but they could be proven so by your own standards.

    No, I don’t use blog comments to sense out social phenomenon. I try to find more concrete indicators, one of which I wrote about in my comment, and you failed to address.

    Like I said above, the fact that it seems to be a regular business practice for Chinese zoos to offer the spectacle of predatory animals ripping other animals to pieces in front of whoever pays – be it adult or child – definitely means that there is something wrong with Chinese cultural beliefs on animals. We have to recall that much of China runs on a market system and the mere existence of “Pay to watch animal ripped to shreds” business plans across the country means that there are enough people in this country who are buying this service to make it profitable. Granted, you may be tempted to say “Well, not EVERYONE is paying to see a lamb get ripped to shreds by a starved bear,” but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that this is a sustainable business model and therefore there are enough people supporting it and “enough” has to be a lot for it to be operating all over China – even in a place as well funded as the Siberian Tiger reserve in Harbin. Secondly, and more importantly, the existence of this type of business means there isn’t enough social pressure from the silent majority at large to shut this horrid type of business down. In other words, not enough people care. Sure, when a bunch of super duper cute cats are rounded up in Nanjing and sent to be eaten in Guangdong, a bunch of college students try to protest – admirable, in one sense, but still disappointing because obviously forces profiting from the eating of cats managed to reschedule the shipment of cats to avoid a run in with the protesters – profits prevail. Sure, a bunch of people get indignant at the treatment of a panda, but it’s the national animal, a symbol of national pride. But it shouldn’t be about cute kitty cats or respecting the national symbol, there should be a shared, cultural belief that animals shouldn’t be treated like shit, and China has a long, long way to go. Sure, this type of mentality takes a very long time to develop and even in the West only a few decades ago things were pretty bad and even today the raising of commercial animals such as pigs and cows is pretty inhumane, but that doesn’t eliminate my right to puzzle at why such a business exists in China.

    USTCer, you are a fenqing. First of all, you seem to have a tendency to immediately dimiss anything negative a foreigner says about China as bashing. Secondly, just because my tone is snarky and sarcastic you think that negates the substance of my observations. Both of these are wrong. Foreigners have every right to criticize China, and they can do so in whatever tone they want. Likewise, Chinese people have every right to criticize, say, America, and do so in whatever tone they want. I hold this belief, perhaps because I was educated in a Western system and taught that all arguments should be heard and none should be silenced, that this is the ideal we should stive for.You should respect that right, as I do, on all sides, and analyze arguments based on their content, irregardless of tone.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 8:28 am

    My zoo in California has pandas and has had some success in breeding them. The pit they stay in is pretty awesome, with lots of bamboo, plants and space. However their nice arrangements mean that if you go see them they will almost always be hiding somewhere by themselves. Its better that way i guess. China seems overdue for better regulation or public pressure on animal abuse.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 8:45 am

    never forget that mexico was the first to have panda kids, chinese vets where very idiots, while mexican vets invented special food and cares for them, china gave 2 pandas to mexico in 1975 and they had so many pandas, that they had to return some pandas to china, and of course all the knowledge to take care of them, seems that the bread they eat is a mexican recipe, but they also invented a special drink, also you will never see them asking form money to take pictures with pandas, if you are lucky and you find them outside thats all, but if any of those pandas are a gift from Mexico, and they heard about this, they could ask the pandas for return, and never forget that if you can see a panda in a zoo, is thanks to mexico, because chinese, american and any other zoos with pandas, just had them some time and then they died, because they didnt know how to take care of pandas.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Beijing Zoo is the only one I know of that treats animals right, because their stuff are morally and professionally competent at maintaining non-human’s well being and its an iconic place of china, the rest I’ve been to, including small ones in beijing and other cities, well, they simply build some pens and throw whatever in, then occasionally drop some raw ribs or carrot, so animals are worse off in these places than in the wilderness.

    Swiss James
    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Am I the only one who read that and thought

    “Wow, only 10RMB to get your photo taken with a Panda? Cool”


    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 9:58 am


    I think you are getting on the right track. Poor regulatory controls and lack of education and more importantly ON THE JOB TRAINING for handling animals.

    It will help if the people are properly trained, educated and paid appropriately.

    When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys!

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Well is this a surprise to anyone who has been in China and seen how people treat animals and each other? 5000 years of civilization my ass

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Where is Shenzhen’s elite. All the people in luxury cars, fancy offices and condos. Shame on you all for letting a national treasure like this be treated in this way.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

    @ 哈哈哈

    Find my ‘tendency to immediately dimiss anything negative a foreigner says about China’? Hey I didn’t deny anything about the part of your comment before the “Before” sentence. It’s the second part of your comment that looks funny to me that you think people would use foreign abuse to justify their own faults to animals, and I wanted to say something. Yes, you don’t take “blog comments to sense out social phenomenon” but why take fenqing’s words that seriously? The word fenqing is more about ability of reasoning rather than political view point (the biggest role model for fenqing, Lu Xun, is anti government and against unhealthy part of Chinese tradition).

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 12:45 pm


    I never knew 鲁迅 is role model for fenqings, in fact fenqings don’t deserve to be his fans. Mr. Lu had the courage to voice and stand up against corrupt government that sold china to foreign powers and then trashed its own people, this act alone is beyond impossible for fenqings to, shall we say, imitate.

    and he was full of reasoning and logic, which is another virtue fenqings fail catastrophically.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    and how do you add an avatar??

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    @ Swiss James:

    I did. LoL. I heard of another place that lets you hug a panda but I forgot how much it cost. Something astronomical, and I bet it was because it was a foreigner.

    @ Peteryang:

    Go to, register, and upload your avatar. The avatar is associated with the e-mail you use when commenting, and should show up if the blog is set up for showing Gravatars. This one is.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    And that is how the national symbol of China is treated in the Shenzhen Park. Just as bad, if not worse, are the ostriches at the very same park that have less than 50% of their feathers. And alligators in swimming in filth.

    paul tergeist
    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Nothing new here, typical chinese zoo. Chinese are known to abuse animals for their entertainment.
    And typical chinese reaction too, hypocritical indignation when last week nobody saw any problem with treating cats as worthless living food.
    What’s the difference between a panda and a cat ? whoever says the number should consider the number of chinese people in earth human population.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I actually work for a zoo in China. This is normal. There are only one or two zoos in China that actually care about animals. Most zoos still tell you how the animals are best cooked or used in Chinese medicine.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    thanks kai!

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 5:14 pm


    I take fenqing’s word’s seriously becuse the PRC is not a democracy. There are thousands of vital distinctions between democracies and non-democracies. One of these vital distinctions is that in a democracy the ruling power is gains and maintains power by appealing to a majority of the populace. In a non-democracy, the ruling power gains power usually through dubious means and maintains it by preserving stability at all costs.

    In many contexts, for a non-democracy, “preserving stability” does line up with “appealing to the majority.” However, this is not always the case. A non-democratic government has to pay far, far more attention to the extreme fringes of society than a democratic government because the fringes of the society are more capable of causing unrest in a non-democratic one than a democratic one. First of all, and most obviously, in a non-democratic government there is no outlet of expression for extremist sentiments and so fringes on both sides – be they ultra-nationalist fenqing on one hand or disenfranchised, stripped-of-their-ancestral land farmers, can only made their voice heard by rocking the boat. Hard (see thousands of protests every year by disgruntled farmers, see 2005 anti-Japanese riots). Secondly, in a democratic government the political clout of extremists is blunted by the fact that the “silent majority,” your “average Joe,” has the power to vote and to influence political affairs. This is conspicuously absent in China. Cozy, comfortable middle class Chinese citizens who are not fenqing may not hold nationalist ideals but they also have no political influence whatsoever and so they are of no interest to the government in terms of political direction or ideological agendas. The government is only interested in its various constiuencies ability or non-ability to cause instability. The Party knows that middle class, educated citizens will not resort to instability as long as they’re given continued economic prosperity. The Party knows that farmers won’t cause social instability as long as they give enough concessions or as long as the farmers remain too poor or unorganized to be able to assemble. Most importantly, the Party knows the fenqing won’t become a destabilizing factor as long as the fenqing *believe* the party represents its interests and the interests of China. Herein lies the problem. The Party has to take the fenqing seriously. I believe in Chinese they even have a saying about nationalism, I don’t remember it perfectly but something like, “Once you have started riding the tiger it is difficult to get off without being eaten.” This Chinese-originated observation of nationalism in modern China reflects how even the Chinese themselves recognize nationalism’s disproportionate role in national politics. Again, the Anti-Japanese riots are a perfect example of this. The government had a sort of shaky, ambivalent role towards the riots. On one hand, by allowing them to happen the government was happy to see anger vented at Japan and not them. On the other hand when it got too ridiculous they had to move in. It’s difficult to see sometimes whether or not the government controls welling nationalist sentiment or welling nationalist sentiment controls the government.

    Here’s a summary and a simplification. Democracies are about “appealing to the masses,” and so the government has to stand somewhere in the middle of the national political spectrum. Non-democracies are about “maintaining stability” at all costs – after all, look at the motto of Hu Jintao’s presidency, “Harmonious Society.” This produces an opposite focus where the middle is neglected because they have no voting power and the extremes are paid disproportionate attention because they are the far liklier sources of instability.

    And thus, I pay close attention to the fenqing. Many of these fenqing are well educated and have close connections to the communist party. In modern China, the fact is that well educated Chinese individual who is NOT a fenqing would rather go into business or start an IT firm or something like than go into the government. Those educated individuals who still take socialist values seriously – many of whom are fenqing – are those in line to become the next leaders of China. You may say a majority of Chinese individuals are not fenqing. But China is not a democracy. If it were, than what the majority thought would matter. But it’s not. In a non-demoracy, as far as political leverage is concerned, the extremes are more important. Therefore I pay close attention to the extremes, like discontent Uyghurs and Tibetans, landless farmers, migrant workers, and of course, vocal fenqing. The people in the middle are following Deng Xiaoping’s religious tenent “To get rich is glorious” and most of them don’t give a damn about politics.

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    i thought this ‘are they brainwashed or is it really what they think?’ debate has been covered and settled quite well in another thread somewhere.

    i say this because theres so many holes in 哈哈哈’s posts that you could write EPIC essays rivalling YC’s best efforts.

    i am super tempted but i know it would just drag on into another forum fight…maybe someone new can take this one up?

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    I couldn’t bring myself to finish reading the post knowing what was coming. I guess in a country where people take pleasure eating pets, animal abuse doesn’t seem so bad to the multitude. Certain humans disgust me! My new year’s resolution to God: please bring more tsunamis, earth quakes, and volcano eruptions to earth. I want armageddon. Now!

    Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I guess you could say this post really pandars to the audience’s emotions

    Friday, January 9, 2009 at 12:03 am

    In China, what use is an animal if you can’t eat it or make money from it?

    Swiss James
    Friday, January 9, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Yeah I was so shocked at the pictures of the poor Panda that I nearly dropped my ham sandwich.

    How do we insert those rolly eye emoticons?
    # 30 USTCer
    Friday, January 9, 2009 at 8:56 am

    @ 哈哈哈

    You are exaggerating the ‘vital distinctions’ between democracy and non-democracy. Check out democratic countries around the world, voting doesn’t solve all problems and there are still cases that people are fooled by the one they selected. Will democracy solve China’s problems? At least in this animal abuse case, I don’t think so. It’s wake-up of social awareness of animal rights and government regulation that is lacked. The former is more important since without it, the majority of Guangdongness still vote their leaders who eat cats. Thus, I see the translated comments and other blog posts like the girl protecting eating cats one as positive signs because they definitely make people reflect on their traditional way to treat animals.

    There are also many misunderstandings about Chinese society in your last comment but I will leave them alone since I don’t want to fall into the class that have “tendency to immediately dimiss anything negative a foreigner says about China” :)

    Friday, January 9, 2009 at 10:59 am


    Typical response 1: pointing to failed democracies. First of all, you’re doing the typical defensive, non-thinking Chinese reaction: as soon as the word democracy comes up, your feelings get hurt (I’m using this phrase sarcastically). Many individuals I speak with in this country automatically shutdown to the conversation as soon as the word democracy appears. I’ll outline your mistakes.

    You think that whenever a Westerner uses the word democracy, the ONLY reason he is using it is as the miracle, cure-all solution for all of China’s problems. Thus, the knee-jerk reaction of almost all Chinese individuals is to point out failed democracies. As you have done here, proving that you’re definitely drawing from a vast reserve of original thinking.

    The problem is, oftentimes, Westerns AREN’T bringing up democracy as the miracle, fool-proof, cure-all solution for China’s problems. And here’s the rub: if you actually read my post, that’s precisely not what I was doing.

    In my post, I was explaining my belief as to why the fenqing, despite not being a majority at the present, should be listened to and taken seriously. I was not proposing that democracy is the solution China’s problems. Democracy as a ruling system was simply brought up as a distinct counter example to China’s system. In a democracy, the ruling government focuses on the center. In a non-democratic government focused on stability, the government focuses on the opinions of the fringe and on merely sating the middle. I was merely illustrating a model.

    So your first mistake, one often made by people who don’t know how to properly proceed in a discussion, is counter-attacking an argument that doesn’t even exist. I have yet in the dialog between you and I to suggest what I think will contribute to solving China’s social ailments. At the present, ironically, I think democracy would be quite a bad thing for China. This brings me to your second mistake.

    When on the topic of making a democracy a success, it cannot be discussed in a vacuum. The reality is, democracy must go hand in hand with a wide set of values, held in the national consciousness and implemented in reality, in order for it to succeed. These values, for example, include a free press, an independent judiciary, rule by law, transparent government, and many more. Failures of democracy all over the world, including collapsed states in Africa and South America, including Russia, and including America’s botched attempts in both Iraq and Afghanistan, are not illustrations of the failure of democracy in general, rather, they show that democracy cannot function if at the time the society in question does not firmly hold liberal, Enlightenment values.

    And so I go back to typical response 1: Chinese people pointing to failed democracies as soon as the word democracy comes up (never mind it wasn’t brought up as a proposed solution to China’s woes). These people think that by pointing to failed democracies, they have struck a blow by pointing out democracy’s shortcomings. Hilariously, Chinese people who do this are actually making a farce and a joke of their own country. By pointing out how democracy is failing, say, in Zimbabwe, to defend your system, you are simply admitting that, like Zimbabwe, China is lacking the Enlightenment values that would make democracy a success in either. Rather than saying, “Look at Zimbabwe! Democracy is a broken system!”, you’re actually saying, “Look at Zimbabwe! Like them, we have a corrupt government, a lap-dog judiciary, severe restriction of free speech, etc.” So 哈哈哈 at you. In the end, USTCer, you and I agree. At this juncture I absolutely do not think democracy would work with China. The man-eat-man life of the Mao era and the “Get rich is glorious” rat race of the reform and opening have obliterated social trust and numbed people to the mind games and machinations of the government. Democracy would definitely not work.

    So don’t answer the question, “Will democracy solve China’s problems?” because that’s not the question I asked. In sum, I merely brought up democracy as a counter example to non-democracy to illustrate the fact that different styles of government produce different priorities for government rulers. By rather amateurishly *not* addressing the point I brought up, instead giving me a exposition on how democracy doesn’t fit in China (that was right – but not in the way you understood), you totally failed to answer the point that I made in the first place: fenqing should be paid attention to by non-Chinese China-observers because their ability to prop the government or contrastingly cause instability and unrest is something the rules genuinely respect.

    Typical response 2: “Foreigners” don’t understand China.

    This is one of the most trite, cliche, stupid counter arguments in the millenia long history of China. Chinese people starting using this smug non-argument ever since the first big nosed foreign devil set foot in the middle kingdom and have been using it ever since. China is so inscrutable! Our thought is like a fort, we’ve scuttled Zheng He’s fleet, we built a Great Wall to keep the barbarians out, and even have a Great Firewall to keep our unique Chinese minds pure. My response? Total, utter BS. The “Foreigners don’t understand China” card is one of the most stupid, overused, inane observations in the history of human communication. It is the most supreme mental laziness – with it, any Chinese individual or lover of China can dismiss anything anyone has to say about China. You can be talking about your da bi zi waiguo pengyou who can’t use chopsticks, you can be talking about the chair of the Fairbank Center, but whenever the Chinese want to snort at the silly waiguoren it’s reliably “oh, silly waiguoren, China is for the Chinese!” Hilariously, this is the internet so you have no idea if I’m some hairy blonde Swede, if I’m a Chinese American who was born in America, if I’m a Chinese British who immigrated when I was 15, or if I’m a Chinese person in Sichuan whose parents hired an awesome waiguo tutor/nanny when I was a baby. Welcome to the webs. Anyways, “You don’t understand China” is a lazy, unverifiable phrase. Frankly speaking, if you want to get serious about this phrase, YOU don’t understand China, either. At this point in time, China is such a huge country with so many people it’s gone beyond possible for any one individual to understand what China is. Don’t forget that you have 56 minzu and they’re all just as much a part of the great family of minzus that if you think you understand China then you also undertstand how Uyghurs, Mongols, Tibetans, Zhuang, Bai, feel. You don’t. Another fallacy behind the “You don’t understand China” error is the assumption that there is one China to understand, there isn’t. Even if we look at the Han alone, there isn’t. And rest assured, unlike you, I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to claim that I understand *my* home country and you don’t. America, Britain, China, Japan, these are not single, distinct, uniform entities that can be “understood” or “not understood.” They’re complex social, cultural, part-real, part-imagined entities. You understand parts, components, behavior, etc.

    So yeah, remember that non-thinking fenqing always follow a model. This model is usually 1) wrong and 2) lazy. You’ve already done the “point to failed democracies” error, inadvertently admitting the sorry social state of your country, and you’ve done the classic “Foreigners can’t understand China” error which I’m surprised at since usually dumb and/or angry people use that one, and smarter people only use that after being cut down for a period of time. Two strikes.

    fcuk da lu ren
    Friday, January 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    @ 哈哈哈

    “The “Foreigners don’t understand China” card is one of the most stupid, overused, inane observations in the history of human communication. It is the most supreme mental laziness – with it, any Chinese individual or lover of China can dismiss anything anyone has to say about China. You can be talking about your da bi zi waiguo pengyou who can’t use chopsticks, you can be talking about the chair of the Fairbank Center, but whenever the Chinese want to snort at the silly waiguoren it’s reliably “oh, silly waiguoren, China is for the Chinese!”

    Spoken like someone who truley DOES understand China. Its funny how Chimatrons rail on about other countries, world situations, other cultures with absolute authority, but when you bring up something that does not present the middle monkey kingdom in a glowing light, you get “oh this is China, you cannot understand because you are not Chinese”

    HMMMM, my response is also, “no, YOU don’t understand China because you ARE Chinese. Let’s face it, this is country with one of the largest cases of mental instability in the world and not becuase of population. They live in a culture that promotes, lying, cheating, deceit, debauchery, ludeness, and mental control and yet claim that their “5,000 years of history” aliviates them from any form of critisizm.

    Well, as I understand it from my Master’s degree in Chinese (part of which is from a prominent Chinese university), most of that history was feudal and agriculturally based. Thus, leaving them BEHIND the rest of the world in terms of development and “enlightened” thinking. I sat through a meeting yesterday where I heard a 50+ 3rd grade educated woman ramble on about how “we” cannot understand China. She failed to grasp that I already understood that I have to pay kickbacks under a table to a “person of authority” in order to facilitate the operaton of the business I wished to commence.

    I don’t understand that? hmmmm, my 20+K a year eduation (which I didn’t cheat to get) must have failed me. In the end we have to realize that alll the people with any education or culture were either killed or now reside in “the rebellious province lol”. This country is run by peasants who siezed power, that is not character assult, it is a HISTORICAL FACT recognized by both sides.

    I don’t give a crap about democracy in China, Dalai Crappa, or any of their other “political” issues. But what pisses me off, is the Chi Mate, who cheated on his gao kao, paid his teachers in university, sleeps during the day at the office, and chats on MSN the other 7 hours, glazing his/her eyes over and launching into “5,000 years of history, that i can’t possibly understand”

    Its like watching a bunch of freshmen argue over who’s dad’s bigger, or who can drink the most beer. To all Chinese: Despite what you think, “westerners” are capable of abstract thought and understanding. We are even capable of …. wait for it…. adapting to Chinese cutsoms and cultures, unlike most of you.

    There are some great people here and great methods of articulating beautiful thoughts through language and practiced methods. But all of that flies out the window when you turn to me with your unwashed hair, dirty teeth, and stinky BO and say… “oh you can’t understand because you are not Chinese”

    Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Samael

    its ok fauna, china appreciates your effort to self-harmonize

  • Samael

    for the benefit of the general public:

    you can only ever rely on half of whatever fcuk says, because hes a mix-blooded mongrel.

  • Peteryang

    China had two opporunities to go full democracy, one was at the end of qing dynasty when 慈禧 agreed to adopt constitutional monarch, but was subsquently disrupted by revolutionary forces. the other is after 1949 when china had far less population and very diligent and active citizens who were eagerly looking for a new form of government, which was a perfect starting point, but Mao went cracy.

    looking at china now, it isn’t hard to see the whole picture, the messed up state of everything undermines any grand plan. we got 800 million peasants below poverty line, non-existant welfare system, backrupt social morals, degrading environment, increasingly discontent mass and a government thats corrupt to its core.

    truth is, democracy is often a lofty goal for poor developing nations, saying one form of government is absolutely better than the other without considering where that nation is at developmentally is just silly.

    democracy also requires a solid system of rule of law and people’s tolerance for dissenting views, china fails catastrophically at these two benchmarks.

    now don’t get me wrong I am not bashing democracy, and I don’t think the average chinese want their rights less than others, I just don’t want people to be too ideological. every discussion on the internet thats tagged with politics and china at the same time will end up being a democracy debate, and its just stupid that people screaming ideas without even pausing one second to think whats really in happening around them.

  • 哈哈哈


    Are you responding to my posts? And if you are, did you even read them at all?

  • okura

    @ fcuk de lu ren


  • Peteryang


    no I was just talking about another topic.

  • mercator

    As well as losing some comments, “gun gun” isn’t currently in the glossary. So I guess the glossary is now out of date too.

  • Peteryang

    USTCer basically said all.

    the problem with nationalism is that its increasingly difficult to tame the outrageous mass. after 1989 the government installed staunch nationalism in the textbooks hoping it could consolidate their grip on power but it turned out to be quite a headache, in recent years this sentiment have been so overwhelming that it went as far as ossifying china’s diplomatic flexibility and at times some diehard intolerant fenqings would behave like nazi youth squad which is definitely not what the government initially wanted.

    there are also liberal and moderate nationalists who are both xenophobic and anti-government.

    so the big picture looks something like this: the government spent so much efforts training loyalists, but they end up being useless and harmful, while its original goal has to be achieved by other means. I believe alot people see them as clowns being tricked and played by the government.

    I suppose the government has learned that fanning nationalism is stupid and is increasingly reluctant to do it. if they want to stay on the throne theres only one method – by being a true government of its people.

    as for democracy, its not a be-all and end-all thing, a nationa’s performance depends on many factors with democracy just being ONE, others include rule of law, governance, innovation and etc. countries like philippine or india have universal suffrage but do poor in economics because religous or historical reasons, while singapore is in the top tier because it has zeo tolerance for corruption and its ruling party is able to stay proactive.

    china is definitely on its way to full-fledged democracy but it will take some time, average chinese know too well the problems we are facing now and in years to come.

  • 哈哈哈


    I find it hilarious that you chose to end your post so snidely remarking:

    “I indeed like to make fun of someone who can’t distinguish what I said from what I didn’t.”

    Because you began that last post with more incessant rambling about the merits and shortcomings of democracy in Asia when I already stated that was not what I was discussing and therefore your observations do not follow. The fact that you’re still yapping away about democracy in Asia when that never was a topic in the first place seems to indicate that you’re someone who can’t distinguish what I said from what I didn’t say. Please put your money where your mouth is and make fun yourself while I 哈哈哈 at you. It is only your robotic and automatic reaction to the word “democracy” that lead you to erroneously believe this conversation was about whether or not democracy would work in China.

    “First, there’s nothing wrong to point out failed democracies.”

    No, but there is something wrong with pointing out failed democracies here. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out Einstein’s theory of relativity, either. It just won’t make sense in this discussion. I evoked democracies to illustrate the way different governments prioritize differently – regardless of if they are successful or failed. That’s the first thing wrong with pointing out the failure of democracies in this discussion. I could tell you my theories behind the prices of oil in Venezuela. It doesn’t matter if it’s right wrong, what matters is that it doesn’t follow in this conversation. It would be a non-sequitor, like your discussion of democracy in Asia.

    “Since democracy has never happened in China, it’s reasonable to closely observe how democracy works in other countries like East Asian ones because these societies share some characters with China. You have good examples like Japan and S.Korea, problem ones as Thailand and Philippines, and countries like Taiwan in between. There are even successful non-democratic systems like Singapore’s.”

    This observation of yours illustrates your failure to distinguish what I said from what I didn’t say. If you were able to do so, you would see that I have already discussed that democracy cannot operate in a vacuum and must work in tandem with a number of implemented values and philosophies most often collected under the term “liberalism,” including transparent government, a free press, an independent judiciary, a standardized legal system, etc. I’m going to repeat myself, since I made this observation above and you didn’t respond to it: the second error in pointing failed democracies is that by pointing to places like the Philippines you are merely acknowledging that China’s social support network is a heap of trash and that China lacks such civilized features like a free press, an independent judiciary, and a transparent government and thus in its current state is wholly incapable of supporting a legitimate democratic government. The fact that I have to repeat arguments I have already given but you have ignored shows quite clearly you’re failure in distinguishing what I did say from what I didn’t say.

    “However, before its realization the first question to answer should be “what problems can democracy solve in China and how China can avoid those problems resulted in other countries?”. Chinese people’s answers are definitely not the ‘miracle, fool-proof, cure-all solution’ one as your described, otherwise why you still got the ’shutdown to the conversation as soon as the word democracy appears’ response? I believe no one refuses good changes, right?”

    This is incoherent English. I always make it a personal philosophy of mine to respond to everything someone has to say but I have no idea what you’re saying here.

    “Some of my sentences may look cliche in your eyes, but the ‘declare any problems that China has as the fault of non-democracy society’ style arguing looks cliche in my eyes too.”

    That’s funny, good thing I didn’t “declare ***any*** problems China has as [sic] the fault of a non-democracy society.” I said that SOME problems are- and that the lack of democracy is only one contributing factor to these problems. Seems like you’re unable to distinguish what I did say from what I didn’t say.

    “I didn’t say “Foreigners don’t understand China” to generalize foreigners. Some foreign friends even understand China better than our average Chinese. What I said is you have misunderstandings and you do.”

    You don’t have to come out and say foreigners don’t understand China. In your discussion with me, what I have observed you do is for the most part completely ignore what I have said and providing normally incoherent and utterly cliché responses to what you think I said. This is a vital point. You’re not having a discussion with me, you’re having a discussion with an imaginary person who lives inside your mind and represents what you think all foreigners think of China. The most persuasive evidence of this is the fact that you insist on arguing about the merits and shortcomings of democracy in Asia when in fact nothing I said is even relevant to that sort of discussion. The fact of the matter is you believe all dumb, stupid waiguoren who don’t understand China all uniformly believe democracy is the cure of China’s woes. Because you believe that, you are arguing with me with that belief despite the fact that it makes no sense whatsoever. You need to prove you have the ability to distinguish what I said from what I didn’t say. You need to argue with me, and my words, not some caricatured waiguoren opponent that you carry around in your head.

    “The saying “Once you have started riding the tiger it is difficult to get off without being eaten.” or qi hu nan xia has nothing to do with ultra-nationalism since the Communist party doesn’t justify their status of power (riding) from the nationalism (tiger). Nationalism is definitely a tool of their propaganda but not the main utility.”

    Irrelevant observation. First of all, there is no “main utility” in use by the communist party. Secondly, nationalism doesn’t HAVE to be the “main utility” in order for it to be a significant factor. The observation you have made here establishes and proves nothing. This is just poor arguing.

    “Check their recent mottos, you can’t smell anything of “foreign devil” or “Great walls make barbarians out” or whatsoever.”

    First, it doesn’t matter what those mottos are. What’s more important is what is tolerated. All over the internet armies of fenqing can say “foreign devil” and “keep the barbarians out,” and the internet censors, which are run by the government, mind you, don’t lift a damn finger. However, the moment someone says Wen Jiabao’s fart’s smells bad someone swoops in and deletes everything. It doesn’t matter what the government says or doesn’t say. The important fact is the government assumes tacit control over what the people say and we can ascertain some of the government’s priorities by looking at what they choose to allow people to say and what they don’t allow. So the very fact that the fen qing phenomenon exists without any significant disapproval by the government whereas people who sign Charter 08 get arrested instantly illustrates approval and at the very least sympathy with fen qing ideology.

    “I promise you, these words look equally dated and ridiculous from both Chinese and foreigners’ eyes.“

    I disagree with you. Just because you’re a Chinese doesn’t give you the right to speak on behalf of all Chinese people. Like I argued in the last post, and you completely ignored (obviously can’t distinguish what I said from what I didn’t say), no one individual can claim to understand the “Chinese people” because there is no one monolithic Chinese people. To assume that there is one is both stupid and illustrates you’ve been on the receiving end of government “minzu tuanjie” propaganda. This is simple logic. If you’re arguing that “Chinese” people think this type of propaganda is ridiculous, then all it takes for me to prove this supposition wrong is to show people who take it seriously. The teachers of these students are a good place to start; I could show you ten thousand more.

    “Instead, Chinese use the ‘Great Firewall (jindun) keeps Chinese away from the rest of world’ phase much more often.”

    Oh, great, that makes a lot of sense, argue that the fenqing ideology is not that strong because 1) the CCP’s motto is tame and 2) they use the great firewall to ideologically isolate the Chinese people. Brilliant. And I already demonstrated above how the selective way the internet is censored can show the priorities of the Chinese government.

    “Fenqing doesn’t have more influence than common wise people and you exaggerated their connections to government. Sure, the government tolerated fenqing to some degree such as in those anti-xxx or boycott-yyy protects. Not because they think them seriously, but because they didn’t think these people can make a big deal and situations were under control.”

    The 2005 anti-Japan riots were *not* under control, and the government took them quite seriously. It was in this time that I learned the phrase qi hu nan xia, because while the government approved of the anti-Japan sentiment, when rioters started attacking Japanese facilities and businesses the government realized it had to rein that behavior in (they had gone too far) but at the same time they couldn’t be zealous about it because they didn’t want those fenqing, who had entered into a phase of quite real civil unrest, turning against them. The government’s handling of the 2005 riots remains one of the most puzzling episodes of CCP behavior to date. The government’s behavior and media coverage of the riots were uneven, inconsistent, sometimes supportive, sometimes restrictive. In a nutshell, it was one of the few times in modern CCP history where the government was thrown for a loop and not sure how to respond. The power of those anti-Japanese fenqing was quite real. Quite palpable.

    “The majority keeps silent most of time since they don’t give a sh1t to fenqings and most don’t care what they said.”

    Fantastic! This is one of the most golden things you’ve had to say so far. It’s precisely because the majority keeps silent and doesn’t care about the fenqing that makes the fenqing so dangerous. The majority may not care about the fenqing. They may be more concerned with getting rich to be glorious. However, the fact remains that in a non-democratic society this “silent majority” has no political power whatsoever to leverage or cancel out the political clout of the fenqing. The political clout in the fenqing rests not in their ability to vote, because they can’t either, but in their ability to foment unrest, which they did most prominently in 2005 but also several times since then. The silent majority doesn’t have this ability as long as they’re silent. So by pointing out how silent the majority in this non-democratic social system, you’re going a long way in underscoring my points! Doing so was either quite gracious of you or demonstrative of your inability to distinguish what I said from what I didn’t say.

    Also, I like how you say that the majority keep silent and don’t care like that’s a good thing. Do you think your average Japanese citizen of the 1930s wanted to go across the sea and rip Chinese people to shreds? No. Most Japanese citizens didn’t give a damn. In fact, there was a well documented power struggle in the Japanese diet against militaristic forces before the Japanese Empire became aggressive. The sin of the average Japanese citizen was to not care about the rabid, minority “fenqing” of their time as they took control over the government and then invaded China, leaving massacres in their wake. Apathy to angry, hateful people is not a blessing. It, too, is a sin. We have a saying in English. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

    “ Fenqing would rather go to government than IT or business? Hell NO. As I mentioned, fenqings are not the same in political view points: there are communist fenqings, anti-communist ones and more between. The people in charge in governments are all senior party cadres but fenqing are “angry youth”. See the difference?”

    Excuse me, fenqing are a new social phenomenon. Only the reform and opening could’ve allowed the fenqing to exist and so fenqing are all youths because anyone older than them did not live in a China that could’ve brewed a fenqing mentality. Of course people in charge of the government are all senior party cadres – they’re OLD PEOPLE. Old people tend to be in charge because they have experience. This is a generational issue. This has to do with time. People who are in charge to today will grow old and die. People who are fenqing today will grow older and get jobs. The “silent majority” you referred to above doesn’t care about politics and would rather xia hai. People who go into politics are people who *care* about politics. In today’s China, the people who *care* about politics are opportunistic people, aggrieved people and fenqing (there are more than that, but I’m just outlining a model here). However, whenever the CCP passes its leadership to the next generation, it always does so only to those whose agendas are inline with the preservation of the party – that’s why Jiang Zemin and not Zhao Ziyang became the next part chairman.

    “ Fenqings do stupid things mainly due to that they are not mature and tend to follow other fenqings without using their ability of reasoning and this party of people can go to either directions, pro-government or the other.”

    You underestimate the intelligence of the fenqing. When Hitler and his national socialists were a minor extremist party of scant membership in 20s and 30s Germany, most Germans didn’t take them seriously at all and thought they were a bunch of violent thugs. Just because you dismiss them as immature and unreasonable doesn’t mean they are not capable of wielding true power. How has history taught us that immature, unreasponable people do not attain power? Seems the opposite to me.

    Talking with you has been a big exercise in watching someone not being able to distinguish what I say from what I didn’t say. Your ability to read English arguments or your ability to understand a line of reasoning – one of these two needs improvement.

  • @哈哈哈

  • Peteryang

    wahha thats like a post-graduate essay done in the national library.

  • 哈哈哈

    I leave no stone unturned.

  • too yellow

    I think this topic went too far from panda in zoo. anyway, if you guy wonna talk about democracy in china, there is hot topic at china history history about it. Lots of smart people there, would create interesting discussions.
    Why did China’s democratic experiment fail?

  • Brian

    This place got into trouble in the late 90s for hosting “horse fighting” shows, akin to cock fighting.

    That was their way to drum up tourists. Wow.


    “South China Morning Post – Wednesday December 24 1997

    Animal welfare workers yesterday urged a boycott of a Shenzhen zoo after the South China Morning Post exposed its ill-treatment of animals.
    The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the International Fund for Animal Welfare urged tourists and travel agents not to visit Shenzhen Xili Safari Park.

    The appeal was made after the groups, alerted by a Sunday Morning Post report, visited the park and found animals, including endangered species, being exploited.

    The Post toured the park last month and saw bloody horse fights, a parade of bears with their nostrils ripped open by metal rings and monkeys forced to dance on tightropes.

    Some of the animals came from the old Lai Chi Kok zoo.

    The groups said that the park’s bosses had refused to meet them.
    A safari park spokesman denied it had abused animals and that horse fighting had been stopped.

    ‘The appeal for a boycott is too radical. Animals will be the final victims if fewer visitors come to our park,’ he said.”

    The quoted part is about 2/3 the way down.

  • Kai

    @ Brian:

    Man, that’s depressing.

  • Kai

    Wait, did someone mention my name? LoL, I’m the standard for long comments, eh?

    Rock on!

  • Fuller

    I know someone involved directly with pandas, and volunteering at the new panda centre (used to be Wolong, but moved after the earthquake, can’t remember the name now) down south. they are aware of this and pissed off about it, and are currently trying to remedy the situation by getting it the hell out of the shenzhen zoo.

  • 哈哈哈

    “Our whole discussion is not relevant to the blog post. You are the first one to go away from animal abuse to nationalist fenqing, and you have gone away to other topics such as Chinese’s typical responses several times even that’s not my response. You had your fun, why can’t I?”

    Incorrect. My post was on how animal treatment on China reflects social ills and my reference to fenqing was only tangential in that the first thing a fenqing would do is point at the West and how imperfect treatment of animals are there. YOU were the one that decided to latch eagerly onto that peripheral comment and yank the conversation into an irrelevant direction – as for my policy, I respond to what people say to me, simple as that. So this discussion between you and I has been about you 1) not understanding what I’m typing and subsequently swerving off topic and 2) me consistently addressing whatever points you have to make if they are wrong, incomplete, or presumptuous. Furthermore, you can’t “have your fun” because by doing so you are assuming positions on my behalf that are entirely incorrect – THAT it was the discussion is irrelevant, not necessarily because it is irrelevant to the previous discussion or to the post itself, but because the manner in which you are arguing is fundamentally incorrect to begin with.

    “You simply forgot what you said in your comment at 10:59 am. It’s you who came to that sentence first. You assumed that ““Foreigners” don’t understand China.” is my response. It’s not and you completely ignored my explanation.”

    Simply put, your response here indicates you did not understand the meaning of the sentence you quoted. I cannot respond to you when you’re indicating you are not understanding the sentences I am typing.

    “Haha, this is exactly my response to you. First you assumed what all Chinese think of foreigners’ knowledge and came to the ‘typical responses’ of ‘foreign devil’ thing that Chinese have. Then you used your imagination and ‘think’ the reason behind my response is the same and quoted me wrong. Finally, even I figured out you had quoted me wrongly, you ignored my arguing.”

    I didn’t quote you wrongly, you’re simply understanding wrongly.

    What happened was I mentioned democracy to illustrate a simple model explaining, in part, the prioritizing of democratic and non-democratic governments, not once advocating or implying that democracy is a solution to China’s problems. However, in your next post you incorrectly replied to my post as if I had said democracy is the solution to China’s problems. In other words you responded to an argument that I did not make.

    I said: “Different governments have different priorities. Democracies focus on this, non-democracies focus on this.”

    Is this simple enough for you? I’m simplifying what I’m saying because on several occassions you’ve shown you’re not understanding my English. The point is, your argument about democracy not being a fit for China DID NOT FOLLOW. There was no logical flow or relationship between what I said and what you said.

    This raises the question: why did your response have nothing to do with what was said before? There are two possibilities. One is that you didn’t understand my language, which is a possibility but I doubt it since at that time I was still using simple English. The second possibility is that you are preprogrammed to react defensively whenever a non-Chinese person brings up democracy. No matter WHAT context or for WHAT REASON someone brings up democracy, you MUST, as a good Chinese citizen, launch into a tirade about how imperfect democracy is.

    FURTHERMORE, after I made it ABUNDANTLY clear that I wasn’t arguing about the merits of democracy in China – specifically because I personally don’t believe China is socially developed enough to handle democracy – you CONTINUED to go blah blah blah about how democracy has worked imperfectly in Asia. In other words, you CONTINUED to wax on irrelevantly and showed that you were ignoring whatever was being spoken to you. Again, this raises the question, why were you yapping away about an irrelevant, settled, non-disputed topic even though the issue had beend settled? The answer is simple. You are robotically programmed to respond to the word “democracy” that way. You and many others.

    “Funny. Where did you read my belief? Did I say anything about ‘dumb, stupid waiguoren’? I see what’s wrong with you logic: when you say something and I don’t agree, you ‘believe’ I already have a model of ‘dumb waiguoren’ and put you into that category because I don’t agree with you.”

    I ALREADY SAID, I don’t have to READ anything to ascertain your beliefs, but you didn’t understand the English when I said that previously. You DO have a model of a dumb waiguoren, OTHERWISE, why would you keep on barking incessantly about democracy when I wasn’t even TALKING about democracy in China. I’m establishing a fact: the moment I brought up democracy to illustrate a governmental model, you incomprehensibly and incoherently LAUNCHED into an unnecessary and cliche lecture about how democracy is not the perfect solution. Again, I ask: why did you answer the question “What is 2 plus 2” with the answer “Strawberries?” The answer is this: because the moment you saw a foreigner merely MENTION the word democracy (ignoring the fact that I wasn’t proposing it for China), you felt an instinctual need to demonstrate to THIS FOREIGNER why democracy wouldn’t work in China. Why did you feel this need? Why did you have to deliver this lesson when this was NOT the topic at hand? Why did you have to deliver this lesson when you have NO idea what this foreigner thinks about democracy in China? The answer is simple: because you are programmed to educate all foreigners on the imperfections of democracy when the topic comes up, no matter what. Why do you have this cliche spiel to deliver when a foreigner mentions democracy? Because, everyone knows, all foreigners are stupid and simply don’t understand China and don’t understand that we can’t unilaterally impose our values on the Chinese people. One’s BEHAVIOR is FAR more revealing than their words. Without coming out and saying “Waiguoren are dumb and don’t understand China,” I can see quite clearly that you think that way by looking at your BEHAVIOR, for example, in this particular discussion your banal, continuous discussion of democracy in Asia when nobody prompted the discussion or asked for it. I “read” your belief in your behavior.

    “The mottos matter. Even you think one of them (the ‘getting rich is glorious’ by Den Xiaoping) seriously.”

    Precisely. The fact that everyone loves “To get rich is glorious” by Deng Xiaoping EXACTLY PROVES that mottos DO NOT MATTER. Why? Because “To get rich is gloroius” is “the exception that proves the rule.” People follow the mottoes that they WANT to follow. They “cherry pick” whichever mottoes they please them. “To get rich is glorious” is a motto people WANTED to hear. Because people want to be rich. If people already WANT something to begin with they will suck up the motto that validates that. However, if people find the motto stupid, irrelevant, and unconnected to their desires, they’ll ignore it. How many people take the “Three Represents” seriously? Who the hell can tell you what “Harmonious Society” is supposed to mean? These mottos do not appeal to the people, like “Get rich” does. They’re jokes and everyone makes fun of them, with stuff like 戴三个表 and 河蟹社会. The mottos are a joke. “To get rich is glorious” doesn’t show that mottos are important. People didn’t make money BECAUSE Deng Xiaoping said that. Deng Xiaoping merely vocalized a human desire everyone had to begin with.

    “Yes, internet censorship is one of the worst sh1t in China but “internet censors, which are run by the government”? Most censorship was taken at low level and the censors are usually forum masters, blog owners or web administrators. It’s self-censoring. What kind of speech will be censored mostly depends on how people who are running the website think of its seriousness.”

    Yes, it is self-censoring. However, the government determines the standards as to what should be allowed and what shouldn’t be. Just because the government has outsourced the censoring to web administrators doesn’t downplay its political significance, it just means that the Chinese government hasn’t gotten smarter about how to implement a political policy. In fact, that citizens are the main executors of the censorship just goes to further show how complicit many “average Chinese citizens” are in maintaining one of the worst information control societies in the history of mankind. Also, what is censored indeed is deteremined by what the administrators think is serious, HOWEVER, what the adminstrators think is serious IN TURN is determined by what the censors make clear is allowed and isn’t allowed. I think you pointing out citizen involvement in censorship only further validates my original point of the sickness of the Chinese social fabric. I would rather have Uzbekistan, where government thugs are in charge of censorship but the people themselves resist, than China, where the government is more gentle and streamlined with its censorship but that’s so because the people themselves are active players and “think it’s good for them.

    “Does that mean pornography has more influence to government’s policy before the censoring? Thus using government non-censoring of fenqing’s words as a prove of their political influence is invalid.”

    Baloney. Comparing apples and oranges. First of all, pornography DOES scare the Chinese government. The Chinese government has to maintain this ridiculous ideological self-image in front of its citizens that it is the guardian of all things right and moral and therefore the hundreds of millions of Chinese people are justified in obeying them even though they were not elected or chosen. The Chinese government’s war against pornography is all lights and dazzle to dupe people into thinking that they are guardians of morality because “everyone” can agree that porn is “bad.” You snidely make an analogy to porn as if you’re establishing a valid point, but you’re not, as dirty you think porn is the pornography industry does play a role in the greater, nobler concept of “free speech” as its presence indicates the government cannot arbitrarily use the standard of what is “obscene” and “not obscene” to implement censorship. That’s point number 1; you may giggle and cover your mouth in reference to pornography but for peoples who take free speech seriously – like in my country – the very edges play an important diagnostic role in evaluating the health of free speech and as much as I hate neo-Nazis and pornographers and hate-mongering extremists the moment their right to voice their black ideas is threatened in my country is the first step against government dominion over thought expression.

    Secondly, pornography and political speech, though both fall under the rubric of free speech, are of fundamentally different natures. Proof of the political influence of the fenqing is NOT found in the state of online pornography. Instead, it is found in the treatment of OTHER forms of political speech. If you want a valid comparison, you have to see what kinds of POLITICAL SPEECH are deemed acceptable by the government.

    Let’s take the political sentence “Down with _____!”, a politica act expressing dissastisfaction with a political authority.

    Online, you will never see, in significant numbers:

    “Down with Hu Jintao!”
    “Down with the Communist Party!”
    “Down with the perpetrators of the 1989 massacre!”
    “Down with the incompetent party rules responsible for shoddy construction in Wenchuan!”
    “Down with the oppressors of the Tibetan peoples!”

    However, you WILL see in significant numbers sentences like:

    “Down with Koizumi!”
    “Down with the Japanese dogs!”
    “Down with the American imperialists!”

    This is just a simple example – for your sake, since increasingly it seems like you’re not comprehending what I’m saying. But the point is that these are ALL acts of political speech, and in this example ALL of them are STRUCTURALLY the same, yet the Chinese government applies an inconsistent standard in permitting some of these to survive and some not to. The government permits talk that falls into the fenqing mentality, but do NOT permit almost everything else. Because the government CONTROLS expression, we can see what they take seriously and what they respect and what reflects their ideological program but looking at what is permitted and what is not permitted. Among all the various types of “hate speech” that are prohibited on the Chinese internet, the fact that hate speech by fenqing is permitted indicates an important status on its behalf.

    “In personal blogs or small forums, fenqing’s words usually result into immediate deletion by webadmins since people naturally dislike those comments. In large forums such as Tianya, one fenqing’s comment can be followed by ten counter-attackings, though some are full of personal attacks to fenqing.”

    This behavior is admirable but it still doesn’t explain the lack of governmental disapproval for this type of speech. Furthermore, as I’ve been continually saying even if the majority of Chinese people “disapprove” of the fenqing agenda, their desires are NOT reflected in the government leading China because China is not a democracy and these “counter-attackers” you are mentioning do not have voting power to offset the destabilizing potential of the fenqing. Furthermore, in specific global contexts, the people who “disapprove” of the fenqing are more inclined to join with them, creating an even bigger mass of angry individuals. For example, I cite the Torch Relay, whose dismal global reception was so catalzying that most Chinese individuals who wouldn’t give a damn, or even disapproved of the fenqing, instead flew into a nationalistic ferver. Where were the fenqing counterattackers when Grace Wang tried to mediate between the Chinese students and the Free Tibet people at UNC?

    “I agree that no one can speak on behalf of all Chinese people and that’s not what I intended to do. However as a Chinese who has been living in China for more than 20 years, I can voice on behalf of many Chinese.”

    No, you can’t. You just think so because your education system trains you to believe that the Chinese people are more united in thought and tradition than they actually are. If we take only the Han ethnicity alone, and look at Han individuals from different socio-economic classes and regions, we would see so much variation that it would be a joke to think that any one individual could speak on behalf of even 10% of them. Through in the other 55 ethnicities and speaking representatively is utterly impossible. Are you suggesting with your claim that you can speak on behalf of “many Chinese” that “many Chinese” think in the same way and have the same beliefs and values and morals (namely, yours)? How can you be arguing against stereotypes of Chinese people thinking the same and then make a claim implying that Chinese people think the same at the same time? That’s stupid. I think the Chinese people are just as diverse if not more so than a ad hoc melting pot like the United States. My concern about the stability of China rests on its non-democratic priority making and ideological groups like the fen-qing who choose to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs. This is different from the category “Chinese” which is NOT an ideological category; it is determined by the accident of birth.

    “That’s why I said government can tolerate fenqing ‘to some degree’. When it’s out of control, government crash them down as the same as they did to activists.”

    The government has YET to “crash down” on the fenqing to the SAME DEGREE that they “crash down” on democracy activists and people like the ones who signed Charter 08. Should the fenqing ever get out of the control to the point that the government has to make a crucial decision, they can either “crash down” or “go with the flow.” Take, for example, the anti-Japan riots. The energy of those riots eventually subsided and so the government was simply left with a close call. However, assuming the energy DIDN’T subside, if the government “crashed down” it would’ve risked being accused of not representing the interests of the Chinese people, if it “went along with the flow” then China-Japanese relations would’ve been strained to a dangerous point. Either outcome demonstrates what potential power the fenqing had at that time.

    “Now I agree with your way of using ‘qi hu nan xia’ this time since the explanation is much better. Sure, anti-Japan sentiment is a card CCP played in international and domestic politics but not all people who went to protest against Japan are fenqings. Some Japanese politicians still refuse to accept the atrocities their soldiers did as a fact in WWII, and some people in China are angry at such madness.”

    See, I got you. You had such a narrow definition of fenqing in the first place. I lived in Nanjing. I know how atrocious the history was. But if fenqing hatred is strong enough to seep into most other normal people and utterly disrupt Chinese-Japanese relationships today then I consider that significant influence. I like how you think the fenqing are all a bunch of idiots until the “fenqing topic” we are discussing is something you agree with and then suddenly you’re all sympathetic.

    “I’m not thinking the ‘silence’ is a good thing but only stated the fact.”

    You stated the fact to prove a point of mine wrong. However, since the silence is a bad thing you have failed to prove my point. Even if a majority of Chinese people are not fenqing their silence enables the fenqing to peddle their agenda.

    “Yes, I do think they wanted in 30s. Japanese military expension started much earlier before 1930s. Korea and Taiwan were occupied 40 years before WWII and average Japanese did support the millitary occupation. They had many chances to avoid the crimes in China but they didn’t stop. It’s not that their ‘silence’ to military occupation was the sin, but their fever. And such ghost of fever still exist in some Japanese politicians’ mind. That’s much serious than few fenqing’s shouting.”

    You didn’t answer my question. The Japanese military expansion occured not necessarily with the direct APPROVAL of the Japanese masses but rather with their APATHY. My point is that what happened in Japan could easily be reproduced in China, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, where a non-elected government is forced to submit to an extremist agenda. Also, I’d like to point out that you’re going into “robot knee-jerk reaction mode.” I’m not arguing whether or not Japanese atorcities were right or not. I’m only pointing out Japan as an example of an extremist minority hijacking an unelected government. However, you are pre-programmed to respond in a certain way whenever someone brings up Japan, just like you are pre-programmed to respond in a certain way whenever someone brings up democracy. Free your mind. Read what I’m saying, now what you want me to say.

    “That’s the point. They will grow older. The reason, that most elder people who were born before the reform are not fenqings even they received same information as angry youths do, is because they are mature enough to reason and they have families and other things to worry about. The fact that fenqings don’t have a solid and systematic political view and their blind nationalism fever will fade when they grow up, is a proof that their influence to China’s policies today or in near future is limited.”

    This idea rests on the rather stupid assumption that people abandon their radical ideas SIMPLY because they get older. This is incorrect. The reason why a lot of older people in China are mellow today is because things like the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution SUCKED the political will out of these people, not JUST because they “got older.” These people were filled with such hateful thought that it took an utter ORGY of violence, murder, and genocide before they “mellowed out.” The fenqing won’t get more mellow ONLY because they get older. Perhaps, like the mellow older people of today, the fenqing will drop their extremist views only AFTER a cataclysmic even occurs which saps them of their strength. And THAT is why I respect the fenqing. Because Chinese History has shown that when you have millions of angry youths (Cultural Revolution) it’s hard to stave off their energy until you’ve got millions of dead bodies piling up. My hope is that the fenqing won’t cause the same to happen again. That average Chinese people – like YOU – don’t take the fenqing seriously, that is one of the ways they can grow in power.

    “I admit my English needs improvement. You don’t require someone who only used English for few years and dealt with mathematical formulas and data tables in most of his non-puberty life can write a nice English essay in politics, do you?”

    Actually, YES, I do. If you’re going to come into an English speaking community and attack an English speaker’s ideas, I DO expect you to use coherent English to continue the discussion and to understand what is posted. You dropped your “English as second language” excuse the moment you started attacking what I said. What would you think if I went to Tianya, used my Chinese abilities to attack Chinese people there, and when these Chinese people responded with detailed, intricate arguments I didn’t understand, I played the “Wah wah I only studied Chinese in college” card? You’d probably think I was a big baby and by going into a Chinese community and attacking Chinese people with the Chinese language, I was asking for it. If you’re going to fall back on “Well I speak English pretty well for a Chinese person, can’t you forgive me for that?” then you shouldn’t attack someone’s comments. If you attack someon’s comments you hold yourself responsible for the ability to back up your attacks and counter whatever that person has to say.

  • Kai

    Holy shit, that HAS to be a new chinaSMACK record.

    Who is in charge of keeping records around here?

  • Vennom

    This whole comment page is the best example of TLDR I’ve ever seen.

  • nongnat

    I feel so sad , please help her. Hope the panda research base can help her. I blame the zoo workers.

  • Phc

    I have recently experienced the same heartbreaking situation in Chimelong safari park, Guangzhou. Especially while I was visiting their Giant Panda Center, my family witnessed a group of locals harassing a panda by throwing water from a plastic bottle that they brought along with them just because the panda wouldn’t wake up when they were calling him. We tried to call this group’s attention and asked them stop but unfortunately they turned a deaf ear on us and did it again. What’s worst is that when I tried to find a safari park staffer to address this concern, there was no one around the panda center! This really ruined my entire stay in this safari park, why on earth would you be that irresponsible and leave the whole panda center unattended. I mean how sure are you that all visitors would follow your park rules! Plus, as compare to other panda centers that I’ve been before, pandas here are obviously malnourished, sick, underfed, and definitely living in a very unhealthy environment.

  • angryforpanda

    What kind of stony hearts those who treat these endearing almost human pandas like this?
    If I send money to feed them, will the workers use the money intended for pandas instead of pocketing the money for themselvs

  • Linda Priskila Lena Siwy

    I think she’s more to be a “mistreated” panda then being an “abused” panda…. , I wonder how was she now in 2016? please share me the update… I’m so worry about her

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