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China Speak: Lawyers, Counterespionage & Grey Income

Quotes from around China this week

“In China, we say that the best lawyers are the ones who can’t obtain a license.”
- Lawyer Liu Weiguo, speaking to the fate of those who most ardently defend human rights in China. New York Times

"Without the grey income, doctors would not have the incentive to practice.”
- Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, on problematic government policies and corruption in China’s healthcare system. Reuters

“In China, the government can enter any space of any citizen anytime it wants. It is the “counterespionage” of citizens that is prohibited.”
- Author and political commentator Wang Lixiong, on his and his wife Tsering Woeser’s encounters with police monitoring and harassment. Washington Post

"Mutual respect in terms of customs, culture and religion is the key point in fixing the so-called ethnic problem."
- Anonymous Uygur in Hotan, on tensions between his ethnic group and corrupt and uncompromising local government officials. South China Morning Post

"The most backward army is not the poorly equipped one, but the one filled up with old thinking."
Peoples Liberation Army General Liu Yazhou calling for more emphasis on innovative thinking and less on political training and propaganda. South China Morning Post

“Sometimes, if the body runs much faster than the soul it has to slow down for the soul to catch up.”
- Media mogul Bruno Wu, on how China’s breakneck industrial development neglected cultural output, creating a market of consumers that crave content. Financial Times

“I’m not 'fu-er-dai' (son of a rich family) or a son of a government official—I am from a small town in Sichuan, with no guanxi (connections). I am not particularly attractive, and I’m pretty small. What do I have? My brain. This is the only thing I have.”
- Guo Jingming. That’s Beijing

“As for Chinese-speaking foreigners on Weibo, I run second after [Japanese AV star] Sola Aoi, but I’m working on a plan to change that. I mean, what does she do that I couldn’t?”
- Da Shan. That’s Beijing


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