On Wednesday April 8, the day that Wuhan was lifted from the lockdown, the English and German versions of Wuhan Diary, written by Fang Fang, went on pre-sale online. Fang Fang, a writer who lives in Wuhan, started to publish her diary on Weibo at the end of January documenting people’s lives in Wuhan during the 62-days of lockdown. Her work, however was criticized and attacked on the mainland for “spreading negative energy.” As the publication of the diary in the overseas market got closer, there were mounting condemnations from the left wing in China. One person claimed that publishing the diary around the world was just like “a butcher’s knife from the West (aiming towards China).” Another person complained that the overseas Chinese are likely to become targets of the venting. The Chief Editor of China’s mouthpiece Global Times wrote in his Weibo account that the diary is not a documentary work … It will catch the attention of the international media. Very likely, Chinese people including those who supported Fang Fang in the past, will pay for the fame that Fang Fang is gaining in the West. On the same day, Fang Fang also wrote in her Weibo account saying that this time she has truly experienced what Internet violence is like and said that those who attacked her were just ;oke the “COVID 19 virus” that spreads and strikes other people. A writer from Guangdong province told RFA that, even though Fang Fang’s diary only touches on superficial issues and the fact that this type of “progressive voice” is being severely suppressed suggests that there is no freedom of expression on the mainland.
Fang Fang, 54, whose real name is Wang Fang, graduated from the Department of Chinese Language of Wuhan University and served as the Chairman of the Hubei Writers Association from 2007 to 2018.
Source: Radio Free Asia, April 9, 2020