Friday, 23 January 2015

You do not understand asshole! It's over between us!...GAME OVER, the story is going on...

XII

Monday, June 18 Afternoon

Wang Jun is lying on the bed. What a bad day. He tried to see Erwan. No luck, he was not there and the nanny couldn’t tell him anything. Bad relations with Yinghua. Since the death of Lao Huang he has hardly seen her. She is constantly with her aunt. Suddenly the door opens. She enters! He gets up to meet her. She looks upset.
"What‘s up Yinghua?"
She crosses the room and says nothing. Then she starts crying.
"Over!  Everything is over!"
He does not understand.
"But what's going on?"
She looks at him suddenly. He tries to embrace her, but she rejects him violently.
Leave me alone. You were a moment in my life, and it was short."
Wang Jun is stunned. At least she owes him an explanation.
"You want a divorce, right? But at least tell me why!"
She stands up. Looks in a fury! She scares him. He instinctively retreats.
"Yinghua! At least tell me what’s happened."
A torrent of words ensues. She was called by the new leader. She has been fired from the police and has to leave her apartments. Wang Jun is returning to traffic. She has no choice because otherwise she will end up in a labor camp, or worse sentenced to death for corruption. Wang Jun has difficulty in understanding. She has finished, she takes her bag and leaves the apartment. He follows her and takes her by the arm.
"Plainly speaking! What can we do?"
She emerges from his grasp and in such a fury:
"You do not understand asshole! It's over between us! I’m going to live with my aunt and you're nothing. I have a letter for you!"
She hands him a letter.
"Open it!"
He takes the letter and begins to read. It is his orders for transfer to traffic control. He is assigned to the District precinct of Jianguomen. Assigned to that major intersection. He starts the following day.
Mona slams the door behind her. He is alone!
He picks up the phone and calls his friend Li Changlin.
He's lucky. He is there. He briefly explains the situation.
“Well, okay. Take all your belongings and just come. I know someone who will be happy for you to come live and with us. She likes you a lot. When do you start?"
Tomorrow"
"And where?"
Wang Jun explains the situation.
"Well, old chap, you're going to go a long way to work. Have you got your bike back?"
"No, says Wang Jun, unfortunately! It'll take me hours of bus! It's better than the Laogai! I'll explain!"
He hangs up and begins to gather his belongings. Then he remembers something. He goes to the safe, opens it carefully. There’s a little money left. That will enable him to survive over the next days. Then he retrieves the box with Glocks and ammunition.
That, he says, I’m not leaving! It can always be useful.
As soon as he finishes packing, he calls a taxi.
"Five minutes sir!"
He leaves the apartment and sends down his luggage. The taxi is already waiting downstairs. He is afraid of meeting Guan Kai. But no, the guy is not there. He gets into the car. He closes the door. The driver starts off. He gives him the address of Li Changlin. The whole story is bullshit.

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Monday, 12 January 2015

"I'll tell you a little story that comes from the depth of the Laogai, Lanzhou ..." GAME OVER A NEW EXCERPT...

Monday, June 18, 1990

Mona comes through the door of the police central building. She is almost unknown here. She has to show her credentials to enter. Guan Kai asked to accompany her but she preferred to go alone. Since the death of her uncle, nothing has been working. She phoned her grandfather, just yesterday. She misses Bandol, France.
"Come back to France, Mona. You have no-one there. You can bring your aunt if she wants!"
Her grandfather is kind but things are not so simple.
All these rumors and disputes with Wang Jun.
It is clear that her special status is over. She passes between several blocks and approaches her office, the central building.
Since her uncle’s death she has lived with her aunt, to take care of her. The death was strange. She knew that her uncle had heart problems. How many times had she told him to seek treatment? In vain. And now! She feels orphaned for a second time. Wang Jun did not like her leaving the apartment. He returned to the Friendship Hotel. But he was bored. In fact, he is worthless. He is just plain crazy.
She enters the building. A messenger is waiting. He addresses her with deference.
"Miss Huang, our new Director, Comrade Zhang Pengpeng awaits you in his office."
She does not know this man. All she knows is that he is very close to Li Peng. He is the man that caused her uncle’s heart attack.
Everything seems quiet, too quiet.
They arrive at the door of the Director’s Office. Hers is right next door. She notices that it is busy. She hasn’t set foot here for months.
Her uncle’s secretary leaves the office. She looks embarrassed! Mona has got little information on the circumstances of Lao Huang’s death. Just a medical report. And that's it. Guan Kai tried to learn a little more. He contacted the Secretary who made him understand to mind his own business. He seemed sad when he told her about it.
"Please wait Miss Huang! Comrade Zhang will receive you.
She closes the door carefully.
The guard does not know what to do. Finally he leaves her. He is a young policeman.
Mona is dressed soberly for this meeting. She has prepared her arguments. She feels that it will not be a picnic.
The door opens again. The Secretary motions Mona to enter. Both come into the office. The layout has changed. The new Director is a tall man, dressed in Western style. He orders the secretary to go out:
"Miss Huang, I have important things to tell you which cannot be done in the presence of someone else!"
The tone is set.
The secretary leaves.
"Sit down, please!"
Politeness is present, but the tone is brittle.
He asks first after her aunt’s health.
"How is Lao Huang’s wife? This death is a tragedy!"
Mona replies in a formal way. It is better to shorten such formalities and get straight to the heart of the matter.
The Director sits down. He watches her carefully.
"Miss Huang - or do you prefer to be called Mrs. Wang?"
She feels the aggressiveness of this man.
"No Sir, Miss Huang, that's fine!"
He continues:
"Your position in the police is very particular. Since I have taken over from your uncle, I have tried to get a bit more specific idea about your activities. Of course I have official reports - and confidential - held by your uncle, recorded by his secretary. For several months he also was under investigation, conducted by the Office of the Prime Minister because persistent rumors reached our ears, concerning ... misconducts with regards to your business."
Mona wonders what he is talking about. What does he know exactly? She keeps a straight face but inside, it's bubbling!
"All this would not be so bad if there had been good results and if there had been no incidents the 3rd of June, especially those which happened at the concert attended by the Prime Minister, but also all those people dressed in white in the street, especially around Tiananmen."
She wants to say something, answer that it is not very important in relation to the information collected for over a year on dissident circles. Zhang stops her immediately in a dry tone:
"Miss Huang, you will speak when I ask you specifically to do so."
Mona looks down. She feels bad. She wants to leave, leave, but she cannot. Zhang continues!
"Huang Yinghua, you are Franco-Chinese! Your father was killed by the Red Guards in unclear circumstances. Your uncle, Lao Huang's brother, protected you and allowed you to leave China with your mother. But this is not the issue of our meeting!"
Mona is waiting! She keeps looking down!
"It took me a while to exactly understand the nature of your work and relationships, many of them established with counter-revolutionary elements. It is unfortunate for you that you did not take advantage of all this information to arrest a number of people before the anniversary of June 3! Yes, what a shame! One thing I was particularly surprised by was your relationship with Wang Jun. The way you worked was pure amateurism. What a strange idea to partner up with Wang Jun, a police officer who failed to do his job. However, traffic policing is not very complicated. And you wanted to transform this moron into an intelligence agent through a hazy association with a French journalist working on a comparative research project involving two prestigious academic institutions, the Academy of Social Sciences and the Institute for Minorities.  Wang Jun who has no qualifications!"
Mona feels that her whole project is being unraveled. But she will not accept it. She lifts her head, ready to attack, like a tigress in fury. Unfortunately, there’s no opportunity to say a word because Zhang continues:
"So here is my decision. I will not waste my time arguing. I’ve decided that as of June 30 you are fired from the Police."
She feels the anguish rising in her. But she should not break down. No, she will fight. She will use her usual relations. No, this won’t happen like this. But Zhang looks as if he’s reading her mind:
"Do not do anything that might call into question my decision because I have serious evidence against you."
She is stunned! But what is it?
"Miss Huang Yinghua, we well know the power of your late uncle's friends. But think before acting and listen to this. Open your ears! You disposed of huge benefits for your business. A cover company to sell wines that really has little or no activity, a three-bedroom apartment at the Friendship Hotel, another flat in a modern building, car and driver available at all times and a salary managed only by your uncle that allowed you to live a very comfortable life. All this for weak results, very weak. Also, I'll tell you a little story that comes from the depth of the Laogai, Lanzhou ..."
Mona suddenly looks concerned. He realizes this.
"I realize that this means something to you. In January, a young student at Beida, not specifically involved in the political protests, was arrested for prostitution and sent to a camp of reform through labor in Lanzhou. So far, no particular problem. Students seeking to supplement their monthly income, there are many. And why not do this job which is called the oldest profession in the world? This young student was living with a policeman, a certain Wang Jun! Shall I continue?"
Mona feels her world collapsing. Tears stream down her cheeks. They know everything and if she fights back they'll sue her for economic crimes and corruption. How did they learn it all? Zhang Pengpeng comes to her. He puts his hand on her shoulder.
"I see you understand. We want to keep this matter quiet. For the moment the Government is going well. We solved the Fang Lizhi case and soon the West will come and eat from our hands. They need our industrial production capacity and the order that only the Communist Party is able to preserve. Here is how things will happen."
He pauses, turns to sit and drinks a glass of water.
He takes a document in a folder carefully stored in a drawer of his desk.
"I've prepared a letter of resignation from the Police. You're leaving with a comfortable severance pay in dollars. You will see the figure yourself. A separate document must be signed which is your self-criticism. You know our taste for confessions from the years when Chairman Mao led the first revolutionary base in the 30s. I ask you to sign these documents immediately. As for your apartments, they must be left very quickly. I was told that you’re currently staying with your aunt."
"And Wang Jun? And the offices of my company at the Beijing Hotel?"
Mona is in tears! 
"Wang Jun! It's very simple, he returns to traffic duties as a basic officer. He will work in the district of Jianguomen. As for your company, you own it, so fund it by yourself!"
Mona feels trapped! She takes the documents, does not even read them and signs immediately!
She gets up and hands them to him.
"Can I get a copy?” She asks in a humble tone.
No problem! I will send it!"

He also gets up. The interview is over!

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Thursday, 18 December 2014

It was only a matter of money. Chinese leaders are very pragmatic...GAME OVER...NEXT EXCERPT

The taxi that carries Erwan arrives at the Minzu Hotel. He pays and gets out of the car, an old Toyota. He likes this hotel which is a bit outdated. A doorman greets him and opens the door. Lobby almost empty. Nobody on the armchairs. He is a little upset whenever he meets Dominique Meyer. In fact, Dominique Meyer or X, it is roughly the same.  A Jesuit or Dominican. No, there is nobody. He decides to move to the bar. Absolutely nobody. An employee arrives.
"Coffee!"
"Sorry, no coffee!"
"Well!  Tea then! "
"Yes sir, green or black?"
“Green."
The tea arrives very quickly. Erwan hoped for a small teapot with tea leaves. Too bad, modernity has also reached the Minzu. He is entitled to a large cup of too hot water and a teabag of something described as green tea. The bartender demands to be paid immediately.
 He pays.
The employee walks away.
Incredible. He takes the tea and sits at a table.
He carefully puts the teabag in boiling water, watches the liquid becoming greenish. Careful not to leave it in too long or it becomes undrinkable. He checks the label. No, it is not Lipton. They have not dared. The brew starts to change color. He forgot to take a spoon.
He gets up and goes looking for one at the bar. The room is desperately empty. He hears some voices in the lobby. Still no Dominique Meyer.
He returns to his seat. He removes the teabag from the cup, squeezes it to remove the excess water and deposits it in the ashtray on the table.
A person enters the bar and sits in chairs arranged in the back of the room. It is a man of forty, wearing a light black jacket. He throws a casual glance and immerses himself in reading a magazine. It seems exciting because the man does not even look up when another person enters the bar. A young woman elegantly dressed, high heels, designer dress, Louis Vuitton bag, not really cheap bought on the open-air market in front of Minzu (unless this is a fake!).
Erwan looks at his watch. 11:30 am and still no Dominique Meyer. He gets up! His tea is not finished but he does not care. He heads for the lobby. The man who was reading a magazine rises along with him. The woman remains seated. She sips a soda.
Erwan is walking. He finds himself in the lobby. He heads towards the outer door. Suddenly someone is behind him and pulls him by the sleeve. It is Dominique.  Spy style again.
"Hi Erwan! Have you been waiting for a long time?"
"Nah, no more than half an hour! It doesn’t matter! But I didn’t realize you’d arrived. You really are very discreet!"
"You should learn the Taiji! It would change your relationship with the world!"
Erwan suddenly remembers that Mona told him about her encounter with a practitioner of Taiji Qigong. And it upset her!
Dominique takes him by the arm.
"Well, come, we’ll go out!"
They leave the hotel.
"You noticed that you were not alone in the bar!" says Dominique!
"Yes, there were two people, one male and one female."
"That is why it’s better to go elsewhere, e.g. in the street."
They go out.
"Are you not getting a little paranoid, Dominique?"
"No, just careful!"
They walk. Dominique looks puzzled:
"You know, this story of adoption is complex. I asked around, where I work."
"In the Publishing House of Marxist Leninists Works?"
"Yes, I have a very good colleague. I’m working with him on a new edition of Volume III of the works of Chairman Mao. This is a particularly interesting period for understanding the evolution of China through Mao's thought. But I’m digressing from what interests us today, the adoption of Emily ..."
He stops, he opens his coat and takes a paper out of an inside pocket.
"Guo Anding, it doesn’t mean anything to you?"
"Never heard of him. Who is this person?"
"An important person who can help a lot. He is perhaps the key to open the right door. But I'm going too fast. Here are his details."
He gives the sheet to Erwan and continues:
"Last week, my colleague met a senior official who happened to mention this story to someone in the entourage of Deng Yingchao. You know who she is?"
Erwan tries to remember. The name is not completely new to him.
"The widow of Zhou Enlai?"
"Exactly, and ... the adoptive mother of Li Peng! She is very old. She no longer receives anyone but there is a cabinet around her ..."
"And...”
Dominique smiles
"Well, it's a response in Chinese style, but it's going in the right direction! According to my colleague, the difficulties you've had until now will disappear. But you have to be more discreet. The political situation is fragile in Beijing."
Erwan is nervous:
"But we’re not making politics and it’s a purely private matter."
Meyer looks at him with curiosity:
"From the beginning, I’ve considered this story as something beautiful. The Chinese administration doesn’t know what to do. As you know, here everything is political."
The statement does not surprise Erwan.
"The message is that Emilie’s adoption will over once the administrative process is complete. There are no political obstacles. The administration has realized that you're honest and you haven’t bought or stolen the child."
Erwan is flabbergasted.
"What is this about?"
"Ah, you're not aware?"
"No, what is it?"
"Your wife’s employer, the Foreign Languages Publishing House, contacted the Notary about a month ago. They said they believed there was child trafficking. I'll spare you the details but things were going wrong in May. Many meetings were held. Fortunately, Mona and her uncle influenced attitudes! They were successful in changing the Notary’s opinion, but ..."
"Because there is a but!"
Dominique smiles again!
"Erwan, you've been in China long enough to know that there is always a but, and a very tangible one. I am going to tell you a story."
They are walking close to Tiananmen.
"I'll tell you a story, Erwan, a true story that is currently experiencing its epilogue. Do you know Fang Lizhi?"
"Yes, the astrophysicist who is a refugee at the U.S. Embassy!"
"Exactly, says Dominique. There have been negotiations since he arrived in the embassy last year. It’s someone who has written texts on democracy and supported the democratic movement for a long time."
Erwan is somewhat surprised by the turn of the conversation!
"Kissinger met with Deng Xiaoping, Ambassador Lilley negotiated unsuccessfully. Deng called for self-criticism on his part. Fang Lizhi was ready to write. The culture of self-criticism is something purely formal. Nobody gives it any real importance. It gives legitimacy to a negotiation, but that's not enough in itself to break a stalemate. I assume that your wife had to write such a document for the Beijing Review?"
"Yes, indeed, Erwan answers but nothing changed after."
"In the case of Fang Lizhi, it was the same thing. Deng called for the lifting of economic sanctions for releasing Mr. Fang. The Americans flatly refused.  A few days ago, in secret negotiations, the Japanese made an offer to China. They will provide state loans to China if the Fang case is resolved."
"And so, says Erwan, as far as I know, Fang is still in the U.S. Embassy ..."
They are right in front of the Imperial Palace.
"In less than two weeks, Fang Lizhi will fly to London. Everything is ready. It was only a matter of money. Chinese leaders are very pragmatic. They had their ransom and they will not lose face in front of their people as they will can still produce the Fang Lizhi’s confession, the traitor sold out to imperialism."
Erwan scratches his head. It is so warm! A policeman on duty at a crossroads looks at them with indifference.
"What do you advise me to do, Dominique?"
"You have to pay! That's all."
"But pay for what? They wanted to put Emily in an orphanage and after a while they would have given her back. However, we would have to have paid for the orphanage."
Erwan digs in his memory. No, there is something else. And suddenly, his face lights up. He takes Dominic in his arms.
"Eureka! I’ve found it! Yes, but of course, that’s it! "
Dominique is now intrigued.
"Now tell me!"
Erwan keeps walking. He makes great gestures when speaking.
"A month ago, I went back to the Notary with Mona and Guan Kai. From what we knew, Emily is a native of Qingdao. When we went looking for her, her mother gave us a document, a kind of birth certificate issued by the hospital. The notary office raided the hospital. Their conclusion was that the documents weren’t valid."
"Yes, still, very interesting!"
"But the entries were correct in the records and everything stuck. After, we tried to influence them. Friends tried to contact the family of the notary office manager, without any result. We even suggested gifts. She is truly incorruptible. And then she said a little sentence that I remember now."
"Which was?"
Dominique is now curious. Erwan is thoroughly excited. They are almost at Tiananmen Square now. It is a little windy. Some children are flying kites. Erwan resumes:
"She said: we need to do a serious investigation in Qingdao. Mona told them that with the means of the Beijing police, it wasn’t necessary to go there, her uncle would contact his counterpart in Qingdao directly."
“So what?"
“So what? Although she refused, the cow! She said that only the notary office was entitled to such an investigation. This put Mona into a rage. We went out, and since it has been completely blocked."
Dominique smiles.
"Now you understand why I told the story of Fang Lizhi?"
"Thank you Dominique. I'll talk to C├ęcile and reconnect."
Dominique looks serious:
"More specifically, do you have enough money to fund a tourist journey of the Notary Bureau to Qingdao?"
Erwan pouts:
"It will be hard but I still have a few savings. Yes it should be fine!"
It must be 1 pm. He will invite Dominique to lunch.

He turns. He has vanished. He hears the door of a taxi slamming. 

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