Just in: China gives Yundi Li a second chance

Just in: China gives Yundi Li a second chance


norman lebrecht

October 26, 2021

The editor in chief of the state-controlled Global Times has signalled an official reprieve for the star pianist, who was arrested last week for allegedly consorting with a sex worker. His editorial accuses Yundi’s critics of going too far and urges his reinstatement.

Hu Xijin writes:

Li undoubtedly did the wrong thing and violated laws. He is a celebrity, and it’s inevitable that he would pay a higher price for his fame. If stars are not self-disciplined, they will have to bear the risk that the more popular and famous they are, the heavier price they will pay after a tumble.

But, unlike Kris Wu who was charged with rape earlier, Li’s illegal actions are relatively less harmful to the society. Everyone has the right to reprimand Li, but meanwhile, all the reactions, if combined together, should be proportional and in line with societal standards.

Our society needs a clear direction, with clear-cut rules and adherence to commonly agreed upon standards. But at the same time, there must be sufficient internal room that not only allows for correctness and justice, seriousness and strictness, but also kindness and patience to encourage and save people.

I hope our internet culture can be clear about what to love or hate, punishing the evil and praising the good. It also needs to display the diversity of morality, avoiding going too far in any direction.



  • Aleph says:

    Sure, let’s begin by making public how many high level Party officials have paid for sex to which the authorities turned a blind eye

    • M2N2K says:

      High level party officials of totalitarian governments never had to pay for sex. They have always been getting it delivered to them absolutely free of charge as much and as often as they desire(d).

  • CRWang says:

    Hu Xijin, is the editor in chief of the “Global Times,” a Chinese government rag is a modern Goebbelsian. He showed mercy to Li Yundi but proposed a “final solution” for Taiwan.

    • Nga-khek says:

      Taiwan is my home, and I find it strange that the Jewish state who suffered such a final solution actually maintains ties with China. It’s not like the Taiwanese can go and make their own Israel anywhere else. For god’s sake, it is the homeland of all Austronesians which Taiwan recognizes and gives rights. That would never happen under China.

    • Here’s the actual statement.

      “The CPC’s warning against secessionism is not just talking the talk, and whether the final solution of Taiwan question will be peaceful or not, the secessionists will be judged, condemned and punished.”

      Taken in context, it seems less ominous. Resolution would have been a better word, but given the huge linguistic differences between Chinese and English, I’m inclined to overlook the faux pas. (And I would recommend Haaretz over the Jerusalem Post. It’s a truly great paper.) We wouldn’t want to be anti-Chinese agitators in the style of Fox News would we?

      The new cold war is very troubling. Both sides accountable.

      • CRWang says:

        Mr. Osborne, I suggest you google “wolf warrior diplomacy” practice by the Chinese Communist Party. The “final solution” statement was intentionally provocative. Are you ignoring the “judged, condemned and punish” part?There’s nothing unintentional about the fascist propaganda that is the Global Times and its editor Hu Xijin. If you read Chinese, the state media and the paid trolls frequently invoke eradication, extermination, and extermination against Taiwan.

        • John Borstlap says:

          But haven’t you noticed Mr Osborne’s strong leftish leanings? Authoritarianism from the right is to be condemned but from the left it is supposedly backed by true humanism, to create a fair society, as designed by the best theories around, and implemented by the party who knows best.

          • A false and defamatory statement. I condemn authoritarianism and injustice on all sides of the political spectrum. The idea that China’s leaders intentionally invoke Nazi language is ridiculous on its face. (One might recall what Germany’s ally, Japan, did to the Chinese during WWII.) This does not mean I accept Chinese authoritarianism, corruption, bullying in the region, physical and cultural genocide, or one-party rule. I reject it all, but I also reject contrived anti-Chinese polemic which does little but bring more hatred into the world.

          • CRWang says:

            Chinese leadership not only invokes Fascists/Nazis tropes and rhetoric, they practice them too. Haven’t you read about 1 million Uighurs languishing in concentration camps? This is happening right now. I won’t go into the cultural revolution, the great leap forward, Tianamen. Plenty of corpses to count there.

          • John Borstlap says:


  • leo grinhauz says:

    “the diversity of morality…” In other words: we need to look the other way sometimes, especially when your heroes cross the line and become criminals.This dangerous attitude has led us to where we are now. How you guys liking this world?

    • BRUCEB says:

      Not actually what the writer was saying “in other words,” but okay.

      The previous couple of paragraphs explain what s/he means: basically, let the punishment fit the crime.

      “Diversity of morality” is a strange wording, though. I suspect it is the result of a less-than-fluent translator (or translation app).

  • Karl says:

    I always though prostitution was a product of Western decadence. I learn something new every day.

  • Lord Bus Stop says:

    The picture is hilarious.

    • CRWang says:

      All around candelabra tackiness with mutilated shark fins soup to go with your meal. That’s classical music crossover in China.

  • John Borstlap says:

    A chilling text, and a equally chilling picture.

    What would Confucius have thought of it?

  • Colin says:

    Who is it who is no more your idol any more?

  • Ryan says:

    Media should stick to real news, not interfering and ruining people’s lives and careers. This will be yesterday’s news tomorrow but he’ll be plagued with this the rest of his life. He paid to have sex, everyone get off your high horse, big deal, if they’re both consensual adults then what’s the problem.