the nasty emails I received in the wake of yueyue story

For the first time in my life, I received hate mails.

On Sunday Oct. 23, The Observer ran my full-page opinion piece about the death of little girl Yueyue’s (her name means Joy) and China’s moral crisis. It sparked a massive response as hundreds of people posted comments in the Observer/Guardian website.

An interviewed with CNN on the same subject inspired me. Since within the limited time slot, I couldn’t possibly express my anger and sadness or explain sufficiently why it happened, I decided to write an article.

The Observer, for which I did some stringing before, liked my piece so much that they decided to expand it to a cover story.

Among the emails I received from my web site, among the glowing praises and thanks, to my surprise, I found quite a few very nasty emails, attacking me personally, calling me the ‘running dog of the west’ and wishing me to die and so on. Very unpleasant!

See below one of them.

This is an enquiry send from Contact page.

Name: A

Email: adada


Subject: Your Life

Message: Hey,

Ugly bitch, why are you such a western dog? You hate your own race so much because you are a useless bitch in China? No Chinese liked you, that is why you turned into a White man’s Dog.

You need to lose weight, and get some plastic Surgery, you face is appalling, I hope people like you would leave the Chinese race, and dont tell anyone you are Chinese, because you are the bottom of the barrel. You have inferior genes, and horrible education, and you make a living by bad mouthing your own race.

I’m very happy your entire family was beaten in the cultural revolution, they were right, dumb dogs like you should not have been spared.

I bet your children are also dogs to the white men, han-jian

I wrote the piece from the bottom of my heart and I told the truth the way I saw it without any intention of pleasing anyone, westerners or Chinese.

In fact, my last article, published in the Guardian the week before, was another opinion piece about the westerner’s obsession with ‘weird’ Chinese food and the colonial hang-over.

I don’t understand why these people attacked me personally. I’d be happy to listen to their side of arguments and would be grateful if they’d point out what’s wrong with my piece. But attacking my looks? Why should my less than perfect looks disqualify me to have an opinion?

If I had had more time and space, I should stress that not all 1.4 billion Chinese are cold-hearted. In the wake of Sichuan earth quake, many touching stories emerged where people helped kindly strangers. And moral decline exists not just in China but the whole world. The riot in UK this August was just an example.

But why can’t I criticize China? A nation, as in a person, needs to take a hard look at herself from time to time. I am patriotic – not a narrow nationalistic, I pointed out the problems in the hopes that the society can improve and China can grow.

I wonder who are my attackers. China’s fast-growing economy and rising position in the world have made some young Chinese assertive and sometimes nationalistic. And I guess there will always are xenophobic who divides the world into 内and 外. Since I talked about some uncomfortable truth, they’d want to kick me out of the race. But I’ll surely stay and voice my concerns and opinions whenever I want to.

5 thoughts on “the nasty emails I received in the wake of yueyue story

  1. This sounds very much like the work of one of the “fifty-Centers” who are the large group of young people paid by the government 50 cents for every blog post, e-mail and message that is pro CCP. The fact that the individual does not attack anything specific in your article means that they are working from a template. Thousands of messages like this are sent every day, sad testimony to a very childish Internet control policy designed to keep netizens under control! Take a look at for more stories about the “fifty-Centers” and don’t be upset, this person was paid to send the message! 🙂

  2. Dear Andy,

    I am very concerned about your view that the Chinese government is paying fifty cents for ppl posting positive messages without any real prove but merely picking from stories on wensite. Anyway, as it is not wrong for you to criticise the government, it is not wrong for people to spread positive things about government as well. By your account, is it also true that all the China bashers, protesters are paid by foreign government to put the country down as a whole so that they are forever be colonised?

  3. Most anyone who vehemently denies the existence of paid internet commentators (aka “wu mao dang” or the “50 cent party”) employed by the Chinese government are being intellectually dishonest.

    Likewise, most anyone who believes anything pro-China or pro-Chinese government must have and can only have been written by paid internet commentators are idiots.

    The fact is that there is definitely paid propagandists and there are people with genuine opinions that you may not share.

    The wu mao dang is typically tasked with managing domestic public sentiment. It doesn’t usually go out of its way to write hate mail to overseas Chinese in what is reasonable English proficiency. There are enough people in the world and amongst ordinary Chinese for there to be someone who feels the way Lijia’s hate mail author does. The whole “you’re a traitor for what you said” argument that the hate-mail regurgitates is common throughout the world. Some people are just that insecure.

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