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Saturday, July 29, 2006 

Lung Ying-tai talks about her role as an author

Prolific Chinese writer Lung Ying-tai was recently interviewed by Taiwan's Business Weekly about the experience she went through before she issued an Open Letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao titled "Please Use Civilization to Convince Us", wherein she criticized the Chinese authorities' order to shutdown Bingdian (Freezing Point), a relatively outspoken weekly supplement of China Youth Daily.

Business Weekly (Taiwan): ...How do you position your role and your mission at different stages?

Lung Yingtai: "As an author, I only care about what touches me, moves me, makes me angry and makes my tears drop. I am responsible for using the best Chinese characters to express my thoughts. Up until now. As for what the kind of impact that my essay have after it leaves my desk, how I am being perceived, these are not my matters.

In other words, I don't have any plans say, okay, "wild fire" (note: meaning angry) for twenty years, that's why I have to go to Hong Kong, I have to influence Hong Kong and then I have to influence Beijing. It's not like that. I am an author without a plan."

[...]

Business Weekly: "Civilization" and "Character" (Editor's note: Referring to the two essays "Please Use Civilization to Convince Me" and "First Lesson of the Day ----- Character") left me with an impression that you words were a gamble, is a kind of "catching a theif must first capture its boss" strategy. Did this method raise problems in China?

Lung Yingtai: "To me, the open letter to Hu Jintao is not a work of impulsion. I am not a naive little rabbit. The essays I wrote for mainland China were a kind of text revolution in the past twenty years. They were carefully thought out. Politics is "knife light blood shadow". You can't just be a ramping wild cow. There are tremendous responsibilities.

But having come to this step, I already know it's time. The occurance of Bingdan incident, I felt, was the time to make things clear. That is to be prepared that, alright, the price I have to pay for are: First, never be able to obtain a visa again. Second, all my books have to be unloaded from shelves. Third, essays will never be published again. These were factors that were being factored in and then you can write this kind of essay. Since [I have] entered the "revolution process", I must have a definite plan before actions."

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