“I read comments on Sina Weibo every day, many of which are criticisms of me. It’s understandable. We are the governors of the country but also public servants to the people. It’s reasonable for the masters [the people] to have complaints about their public servants.
Of course, to be honest, some criticisms of public servants by the masters are right, some are wrong. I don’t plan to find excuses, because on this platform [Sina Weibo], people are able to present bolder, sharper and more straight-forward opinions to the countries’ governors. It allows us to truly listen to both sides of a story, supporting or opposing voices alike. Even if criticism is what we got, it keeps us more clear-headed.”
Wang Yang has been widely seen as the biggest rival of China’s ousted political star Bo Xilai before the dramatic fall. He developed the so-called “Guangdong model”, which has been depicted as on opposite route from Bo Xilai’s red-culture “Chongqing Mode.”
Chinese netizens’ reaction to Wang’s words are mixed to say the best, with criticisms way outnumbering applauses, as Wang himself would expect. But most are voices of doubt.
Many netizens shared 英文文盲小鹿鹿‘s confusion: “Where is his Weibo account? I looked for it for a long time and failed to find any. Where does he read comments from?” “Comrade Wang: You read others’ Weibo comments. But your Weibo account is still playing hide-and-seek?” commented 摩步兵. 太阳alvin had the same question: “Why doesn’t he register a Weibo a ccount using his real name?” 愚人-空口无言 echoed: “Where is Wang Yang’s Weibo account? How can I leave a comment to him? Where does he read netizens’ coments?”
青岛晚报教育记者 even made predictions: “I’m not sure about other things, but one thing is sure, if he dares to disclose his Weibo account, he will receive countless surprises through private messages every day.” 支持肖勇的小黄 didn’t believe it at all: “Nonsense. One cannot open Sina Weibo without registering an account. If you do have an account, may I ask what’s your Weibo ID, Party Secretary Wang? Can our Guangdong people follow you on Weibo?”
Some took the usual sacasim route. “So…is he reading censored or uncensored comments?” asked 西北的汉子088. “Now I know why I cannot leave any comments recently. The Party Secretary is doing the reviewing himself.” commented 老蒋正博. 裸奔的孝孝 went personal: “Was he majored in performing arts?” 黄保才 joked: “The beginning of a new era. To read Weibo every day, or not to read Weibo at all, both can be headline news.”
And for an official, to say that he reads Weibo comments is far from satisfactory for netizens. As Fanstivian commented: “Don’t just talk, talk, talk. Show us the action. Otherwise it’s nothing but a superficial show. And one more thing, people leave comments on Weibo because they have nowhere else to speak out.” 2011功成 added, “To Mr. Wang Yang: So what? You dare to change how politics in China work?” “No more bullshiting, disclose your personal assets first!” requested 海量企业名录.
Wang’s reference of official as public servants and the people as the masters also touches the nerves of many (Public servants. 公仆, and masters, 主人, are typical politically-correct rhetoric in China to describe the relationship between government officials and the people)
或懒行的孤独人 asked: “Where on earth have you seen public servants with such great benefits? The masters are doing all the work and the servants are enjoying the profits happily.” 彩色世界之一 echoed: “What a joke! Have you ever seen servants living a much , much more extravagant life than their masters and have much much more money and power?”
Though a small group, some netizens do think Wang Yang deserves some credits, like 杨锦麟 said: “He surely has a big heart to be able to swallow all the comments on Weibo, including unreasonable condenminations and attacks. He is open-mined!” 中庸小道 applauded: “Great job, Wang Yang!” lucia201012 thought Wang’s words made him “an official with a sense of mission and who bother to listen to the voices of the people.” Li1232095’s comment of Wang was even higher: “From all the talks by Wang, it’s obvious that he is a true reformist and the hope of China. Unlike other rich and privileged officials, he’s not all about lip services.”