Kong Qingdong

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Kong.
Kong Qingdong
Native name 孔庆东
Born (1964-09-22) September 22, 1964 (age 49)
Harbin, China
Residence Beijing, China
Nationality Chinese
Other names "Kong the Monk"
Citizenship China
Education Ph.D. in Chinese Literature and Language
Alma mater Beijing University
Occupation Professor of Chinese studies
Employer Beijing University
Known for Descendant of Confucius
Social commentary
Website
blog.sina.com.cn/u/1198367585 (Chinese)
Kong Qingdong
Traditional Chinese 孔慶東
Simplified Chinese 孔庆东
Alternative Chinese name
Chinese 孔和尚
Literal meaning Kong the Monk

Kong Qingdong is a Chinese author, social commentator, and professor of Sinology at Peking University. A direct male-line descendant of Confucius,[1] Kong is a supporter of communist orthodoxy and has expressed nationalist, anti-American and anti-Western sentiments.[2] Kong is also a critic of China's economic reforms, calling the current Chinese government "shameless".[2] Kong has lashed out at liberal Chinese media such as Southern Weekly and its related outlets for pushing a 'traitorous' agenda.[3][4] He has spoken in favour of the "Chongqing model" of wealth redistribution advanced by Bo Xilai and is critical of Wang Yang.

Kong hosts a talk show program and his microblog has a large following. He is known for his numerous forthright and expletive-ridden rants against a large number of groups and individuals; his polarizing views have frequently generated controversy, but have also rallied supporters.[2] Kong has also expressed admiration for the Juche ideology and the North Korean government as well as its leader Kim Jong-il.[2][5]

Biography[edit]

Dr. Kong Qingdong, a direct descendant of Confucius, the sage of ancient China, is Professor of Chinese Literature and Language at Peking University, China, where he received his BA, MA and PhD degrees. He has been teaching Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature at his alma mater for more than 20 years, mentoring many under-graduate, post-graduate and PhD students. Dr. Kong has achieved distinguished academic honors and published numerous research papers, novels, literary reviews and current affairs commentaries, many of which have been best sellers. He was invited as a visiting professor to top universities in Japan and Korea. Dr. Kong appeared on China Central Television (CCTV) and other TV stations as a featured speaker on the great Chinese novelists Lu Xun and Jin Yong. Recently he was invited by the United Nations Chinese Book Club as the featured speaker on the occasion of the United Nations Chinese Language Day organized by the UN Department of Public Information. Kong Qingdong, recognized as the 73rd-generation descendant of Confucius by contemporary historians,[1] first achieved fame as the author of various books describing his graduate student life in Peking University,[6][7] in which the self-described "Drunkard of Peking University" commentated on many Chinese social issues. An avid reader and researcher of Chinese wuxia fiction, Kong briefly lectured on wuxia author Jin Yong on CCTV's Lecture Room series, as well as giving a talk on the Chinese essayist and language reformer Lu Xun on the same series. Although Kong Qingdong was a participant in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989,[8] after he was named a professor of Chinese studies by Peking University, Kong began publishing essays in which he espoused Chinese nationalism and communist orthodoxy. Kong has praised the North Korean government on various occasions, claiming that the Koreans "will surely die off", if not for "the great leader (Kim Jong-il) and his Workers' Party".[2][5] Additionally, Kong has organized study groups on juche, the official ideology in North Korea, at Peking University; some sources, such as Southern Metropolis Daily, accuse the group of providing intelligence to North Korea.[9]

A critic of Western culture and especially its entertainment, Kong Qingdong lent his voice in a campaign to boycott the film Kung Fu Panda 2, calling it an instrument of cultural invasion by the West.[10] After the Apple Inc. co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs died in 2011, Kong remarked that "the more people like Steve Jobs die, the better".[2]

Kong Qingdong has been involved in the Confucius Peace Prize, a Chinese prize set up in response to Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo amid China's protest. Kong claims that the prize, which was awarded to Lien Chan and Vladimir Putin in its first two years (none of whom accepted it),[11] accurately reflects Confucius's vision of peace.[12]

In the 2000s Kong has spent 2 years in South Korea teaching at the Ewha Womans University.[13]

Rants[edit]

Kong has a reputation for speaking in a forthright manner, and does not hesitate to use profanity on his television show or blogs to advance his point and provoke strong reactions.[2] He once referred to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a "bitch"; he called performing artist Jiang Kun a xiasanlan (Chinese: 下三滥), a derogatory term for "three dirty professions" of prostitution, beggars, and street artists. He has repeatedly and consistently criticized China's liberal media, particularly the Southern family of journals and newspapers, as "hanjian media." He also ventures into borderline taboo political topics, calling CCTV "inhuman," and the Shenzhen municipal government "reactionary." He has also called the Chinese government "shameless."[2]

Controversies[edit]

Anti-Rightist Movement[edit]

In 2007, the liberal writer Zhang Yihe (章诒和, daughter of Zhang Bojun, a notable Chinese intellectual and victim of Mao Zedong's Anti-Rightist Movement) published the now banned[14] Past Histories of Peking Opera Stars, in which she criticized the Anti-Rightist Movement and affirmed that she "will not give up the defense of my basic civil rights, because it affects the dignity and conscience of a person".[15] Kong fiercely attacked Zhang in a lecture, referring to Zhang's class as "the enemy of our government." Kong further defended the Anti-Rightist Movement and addressed to the "Old rightists" that "you (the rightists) think that you are proper heroes, so why are you asking the Communist Party for vindication? … our cases have been overturned after the reforms began, but why do the big rightists want to demand hundreds more times in compensation from the people?"[16]

Attack on Qian Liexian[edit]

In November 2008, Qian Liexian (pen name of Xu Lai), a journalist at New Beijing, a newspaper affiliated with Southern Daily at the time, alleged in his blog that Kong Qingdong has been interrogated by the Beijing police for spying for North Korea. A few months later, in February 2009, Qian was assaulted and stabbed by Yang Chun, a personal assistant of Kong Qingdong, who accused Qian of offending "a friend".[17] Southern Metropolis Daily, another newspaper affiliated with Southern Daily, criticized Kong Qingdong's involvement in the affairs.[9]

Southern Weekly interview request[edit]

In November 2011, Southern Weekly, described as a 'beachhead' for China's liberal media, reached out to Kong for an interview. Rejecting the request, Kong published on his microblog that "the treasonous newspaper has harassed me once again by asking to interview me"; Kong answered the request with a Chinese expression of profanity using the word 'mom' three times (Chinese: "去你妈的!滚你妈的!操你妈的!"; literally: "Go to your mom! Roll to your mom! Fuck your mom!").[18][19] The use of profanity drew Kong considerable criticism online,[20][21] to the point of calling for his resignation,[22] although he also received widespread support, with some online straw polls turning out in favor of Kong.[23][24] Commentators pointed out that Kong's popularity is a symptom of the widespread resentment of the elite liberal media, which often run editorials critical of poor people and make economic arguments to justify the increasing wealth gap.[18]

Kong himself asserted he used the expletives deliberately to 'lure out' his enemies in the liberal Chinese media, having predicted that they would respond to him vehemently with what he called "counterrevolutionary encirclement."[18] Some eighty media outlets reportedly criticized Kong for his remarks. Following the barrage of negative media attention, Kong then directly criticized the state-run Xinhua News Agency, saying that it was no longer under the control of the Party's Central Committee but taking orders from Guangdong party chief Wang Yang,[18] seen as the representative of China's political 'right.' The journalist in question later defended Kong, claiming that the profanity is "a later embellishment when Kong published his microblog post".[25] Overseas media speculated that Kong's remarks was merely part of a much larger battle between the political left and right in China. His singling out of Wang Yang by name was cited as evidence of the intensifying struggle for China's future political direction.[18]

Hong Kong people 'dog' controversy[edit]

In January 2012, Kong commented on a viral video on his talk show. In the video, a Mainland Chinese mother on a Hong Kong MTR train engaged in an argument with a fellow passenger, a native Hong Konger who tried to stop her young child from eating on the train. Kong lashed out on the Hong Kong passenger, criticizing the man's use of Cantonese (as opposed to the Mandarin used in Mainland China) and calling him a "colonial elitist" and a "bastard." He went on to make sweeping remarks about Hong Kong people in general, saying multiple times that "many Hong Kongers" are "bastards," and "dogs."[26][27][28]

Kong further claimed that the Hong Kong people are "willing dogs of the British … To this day they think that they are dogs, not people".[29][30] Kong stated that in their purported 'colonial mentality,' Hong Kong people are "dogs in front of the British, but wolves in front of the Chinese," comparing them to Korean and Taiwanese supporters of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. Kong pointed out that the reaction on the MTR would not have been the same had a white person, i.e., a Briton or an American, been in the same situation, rather than a person from Mainland Chinese. Kong asserted that Hong Kong had some "positive traits," one of which is rule of law, which was enforced only because "the British spanked them [Hong Kongers]" if they broke the law;[31] and, in response to Hong Kong's society, Kong said of Hong Kong people: "your society's order is maintained by law, which means that you have no self-restraint, which means that you are a vile [] jiàn) people".[30] The remarks circulated widely on social media cites in Hong Kong and became the focus of controversy and protests in the territory in early 2012, causing further tensions in what were already strained Mainalnd Chinese-Hong Kong relations. Two candidates of the Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2012, Leung Chun-Ying and Henry Tang, criticized Kong. Reactions were mixed in Mainland China to Kong's remarks. Some prominent Chinese academics came out to criticize Kong, but he also received support on the internet.

Several days later, Kong fired back at the criticism levelled at him, saying that the media and internet users were on a witch hunt to 'cherry pick' his words in order to attack him, asserting that he did not mean to say that Hong Kong people are dogs, or that non-Mandarin Chinese-speakers are dogs.[32] He also said that he was confident the "majority of Hong Kongers" were not critical of him and that the internet backlash to be part of a well-executed conspiracy by fringe activists to silence him. In his defence, he stated that "there are good people and bad people everywhere; there are dogs everywhere. Some Beijing residents are dogs."[32]

Criticism of the Taiwan election[edit]

On 28 January 2012, Kong Qingdong asserted on a Chinese television program that the 2012 presidential election in Taiwan is "fake democracy" and is "comparable to a soap opera."[33] He remarked that he did not see "much progress" in Taiwan during the four years of Ma Ying-jeou's term in Taiwan, and that Ma's winning of six million votes was not impressive, "not even half the population of Beijing."[33] Kong said that Ma's razor-thin margin of victory over his rival Tsai Ing-wen was comparable to the population of Zhongguancun, a neighbourhood of Beijing, and that it still reflected a deeply divided Taiwanese society.[33] Both the incumbent Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party have rebuked Kong's remarks.[34]

Fabricated story against Michelle Obama[edit]

In early 2014, during the U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama's state visit to China, Kong alleged on his Sina Weibo account that Michelle Obama was successfully confronted and rebuked by a Peking University student while giving a speech supporting free speech. The student supposedly asked Michelle Obama, "is America’s strength a result of the U.S. secret services listening to the voices of its citizens? Could you tell me in America what the difference is between ‘listening to’ and ‘listening in’?” in a reference to the NSA spying scandal. Kong further described Michelle Obama's response as “dumbfounded by the question, Michelle Obama eventually replied that she was not there to talk about politics." After Kong had made his allegations, reporters and students present at Michelle Obama's speech denied that the confrontation took place. Kong was subsequently widely panned for having fabricated the entire story, which critics have noted can subject him to arrest under the same criteria with which the police had arrested hundreds of people accused of spreading rumors online in mid-2013. In response, Kong simply called the critics "dogs of America" and "traitors to China."[35]

Political views[edit]

Kong, in addition to being described as a nationalist, has also been described as a figure of the Chinese New Left,[36] a political faction that believes China's economic reforms have gone too far and the country needs to revert to a more socialist and egalitarian society with heavy state control.

In March 2012, upon the dismissal of Bo Xilai, a renowned leftist figure in China, Kong showered Bo with praise on his talk show, calling Bo a "mob-fighting hero." Kong called Bo's dismissal by the Chinese authorities "an open call-to-arms for a counterrevolutionary coup."[36] Kong also remarked that people should 'rise up' in support of Bo Xilai to prevent the country from "sinking into the abyss of capitalism."[37]

China and North Korea[edit]

Kong has professed admiration for the Juche ideology of North Korea. After a visit to North Korea, Kong remarked that China is "the most terrible and corrupt country in the world."[2] He said that China had a lot to learn from North Korea, especially its preservation of traditional Communist orthodoxy, and that China has "lost its sense of shame." He said that in comparison, North Korea is a "great and impressive country," and that China was 'so far gone' that it was not even worthy of criticism from North Koreans.[2] According to Kong, China should 'bow its shameful head' in front of the North Korean people.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kong, Deyong (2009). Confucius Family Tree. ISBN 978-7-5039-3789-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Du, Junli (16 November 2011). "杜君立:孔庆东时代的北大". cul.cn.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Chow, Elaine. "Quote of the Day: Unhappy China author hates journalists". Shanghaiist. 
  4. ^ Bandurski, David. "Are Chinese media a public nuisance?". China Media Project. Hong Kong University. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Kong, Qingdong (8 April 2006). "听我唱段十三亲". Kong Qingdong's blog. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Kong, Qingdong (1998). 47樓207——北大醉侠的浪漫宣言. 内蒙古教育出版社. ISBN 978-7-5311-3677-4. 
  7. ^ Wu, Zhong. "The writing is on the wall". Asian Times Online. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "孔慶東狡辯再罵港人冇腦". Apple Daily. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "孔庆东被曝泄露情报 助理刺伤媒体人获刑四年半". 京华时报. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Kung Fu Panda 2 Film Criticised In China". Sky News. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Wong, Edward (15 November 2011). "For Putin, a Peace Prize for a Decision to Go to War". New York Times. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  12. ^ Zhang, Nan (9 December 2011). "孔子和平奖二次颁发 获奖者再度缺席". Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ Martinsen, Joel (19 January 2007). "History books get the axe; another Zhang Yihe title falls". Danwei. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Zhang Yihe's statement and position". EastSouthWestNorth. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  16. ^ Crane, Sam. "China: No Longer a Legalist Society". The Useless Tree. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  17. ^ Branigan, Tania (15 February 2009). "Chinese blogger Xu Lai stabbed in Beijing bookshop". Guardian (London). Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c d e "评论:中国媒体右倾政治左转? (Opinion: China's Media leaning right, but politics turning left?)". BBC Chinese. Retrieved 17 November 2017. 
  19. ^ Xu, Pingting. "Hot online: wolf dad, Kong swears, ova trade, bus safety". China Daily. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  20. ^ Liu, Yineng. "What has Professor Kong Qingdong done this time?". Peking University. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "Professor's tart reply sets off controversy". Eastday. 
  22. ^ Liu, Yi (8 November 2011). "北大教授孔庆东用排比粗口骂记者激怒网友". Phoenix Television. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  23. ^ "粗口教授孔庆东". Phoenix Television. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  24. ^ "为何6成网友支持孔庆东骂记者". 腾讯网. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  25. ^ "双面孔庆东". 中华网. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  26. ^ Chan, Minnie (21 January 2012). "HK people labeled as dogs by mainlander". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  27. ^ Tan, Kenneth (21 January 2012). "Kong Qingdong: Hong Kongers are bastards, dogs and thieves". Shanghaiist. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  28. ^ 中国新闻网 (21 January 2012). "北大教授孔庆东骂"部分香港人是狗"". 网易新闻. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  29. ^ Higgins, Andrew (23 January 2012). "Beijing professor and descendant of Confucius provokes anger by insulting Hong Kongers protest Beijing'". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  30. ^ a b "北大惹火教授罵港人是狗 時事評論員﹕中港矛盾深化 促政策介入". Ming Pao. Retrieved 22 January 2012. "「(港人)給人家英國殖民者當走狗當慣了,到現在都是狗,你們不是人 … 凡是用法治維持起來的秩序,說明你們的人沒有素質、沒有自覺……一個字:賤。」" 
  31. ^ "請北大開除孔慶東". 中國評論月刊. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  32. ^ a b "北大教授孔庆东称遭断章取义 没说"香港人是狗"". Dongfang Net via Dazhong. 22 January 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  33. ^ a b c Guan, Shan (29 January 2012). "井底之蛙孔庆东". Duowei. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  34. ^ "蓝绿同声挞伐孔庆东". 聯合早報. 28 January 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  35. ^ Jacobs, Andrew; Yuan, Ren (27 March 2014). "Confrontation Rumors, Easily Debunked, Touch a Nerve". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  36. ^ a b Xiao, Xun (17 March 2012). "孔庆东高调挺薄 重庆模式市场仍在 (Kong Qingdong praises Bo Xilai, 'Market' for Chongqing Model still present)". Voice of America. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  37. ^ Kong, Qingdong. "孔庆东含泪力挺薄熙来煽动"大家都起来"". YouTube. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 

External links[edit]