I started this Weibo weekly a year ago as something that could be called “pandemic writing,” a way to reach out to connect or reconnect.
Since the focus was on U.S.-China-related topics, we have seen a year worth of nationalistic and anti-American comments by Weibo users, with a lot of sarcasm. That is understandable. One, they mostly follow the views of the Chinese Communist Party, the Foreign Ministry, and China’s state media. Two, if there were any views critical of China and pro-American, the censors surely would have got to them first. Three, we have given them plenty of material, our Capitol riot, uncontrolled pandemic, Texas power outage, Florida condo collapse, etc. Now, with the heart-breaking chaos and loss in Afghanistan, I don’t think we need to follow more whatever Weibo users have to say.
There is is one thing, however, I would like you to know, that is that unfriendly comments about the U.S. are not all that Weibo users are about.
You probably remember Dr. Li Wenliang of Wuhan, who died of Covid-19 after first warning his colleagues of SARS-like infections and being reprimanded by the Chinese authorities. Even though he passed in February 2020, he has lived on in Weibo, as Weibo users have continued posting comments on his Weibo page till this day. Weibo once tried to shut the page, his fans protested and prevailed. Every day, they tell him about their work, school, love, family, share with him news, weather, sports, ask him how he is doing on the other side and update him on the pandemic. Real or virtual, Weibo users have found in Dr. Li, in his death, a friend and confidant to pour out their ordinary and universal human feelings.
Anyway, with a year of my translations and posts, I hope you have got some sense or taste of Weibo. Thank you for reading and connecting, especially my paid subscribers and those who let me interview them. So long from this page and be safe.