According to China blogger John Kennedy, “[f]amous Chinese sports writer and Bullog blogger Wang Xiaoshan has posted a dramatically-titled piece, ‘Fake news kills', in which he tries his best to knock down the various official Chinese sources being used to substantiate He [Kexing]'s underage claim, and makes an earnest (?) plea to overseas media to consider the harm done to those stuck in the crosshairs.”
The question mark is worth at least a hundred words, since Mr. Wang’s piece doesn’t really make sense, at least not as an attempt to refute the sources being cited in US media accounts on doubts about the eligibility of the Chinese gymnast. Mr. Wang. It does not produce any evidence to refute the Chinese media reports and All it does is claim that a) the Chinese media lie and b) He Kexing denied that she was underage. Then, near the end of the article, Mr. Wang suddenly introduces a totally unconnected anecdote about rampant cheating in China’s version of national college aptitude exams.
The true effect of Mr. Wang’s article, then, is an indictment of the rampant corruption in government (the education officialdom). I suspect that his indictment—probably true—of a civil society institution (the Chinese media) and his plea—a transparently ineffective one—towards the foreign media are ruses aimed at diverting the attention of official censors. Such camouflage is common in authoritarian regimes. I first noticed this in pre-1945 Japanese poetry. The Chinese intelligentsia of course has been practicing the art for thousands of years.
Incidentally, I am now waiting for a certain gentleman to claim in a certain public forum that the foreign media have no idea what’s really going on here since they don’t know the Chinese language like he does and that this is no worse than what Japan is doing anyway. What are the odds on that happening do you—yes, I’m talking to you—think?