Li XueZheng’s Interview with Zhang ZheHan

For the first time since being silenced, Zhang ZheHan was able to speak for himself through an interview with Li XueZheng. In it, he describes the traumatic experience of the past few months he and his family endured. Unfortunately, this interview was shortly deleted, but not before it was downloaded and shared on other platforms. This blog post features an English translation of the transcript of the interview.

Trigger warning – suicidal thoughts.

Interview Video

Interview Transcript

李:我今天把你约来,也不是我一个人想跟你面对面地交流一下。关键有很多很多司法工作者,法律工作者,以及很多的媒体工作者,都有这么一个想法,想让我代表他们跟你面对面交流一下。那么我就简单地问几个问题。关于您这个事件,通过中演协对你进行封杀惩罚,到现在已经四个月了,由于我的质疑,对中国演出协会的质疑,现在引起了巨大的舆论。那么我们大家也都相信你这次是被冤枉的,但是我还是希望得到你自己最真诚的回答,就是说你把你去日本旅游的时候,这个靖国神社的照片,背后的背影,是不是靖国神社?

张:我可以肯定地说那不是靖国神社,因为我当时就是和朋友一块儿去日本樱花季看樱花,然后呢行程也是朋友安排的。我们当时就是一路走然后一路拍摄樱花的照片。我敢肯定的是那张照片背后的绝对不是靖国神社,我也绝对没有进到靖国神社里面,没有参观,更没有参拜。关于网上发布的一些,都是一些谣言。然后我相信广大的网友也会对这个事情,认识到真相以后都会有一个很好的一个判断。

Li: I asked you here today not because I’m the only one who wants to talk to you face to face. Most importantly, many judicial and legal professionals, as well as members of the media, they all have this desire and want me to represent them to communicate face to face with you. So I am going to ask a few simple questions. About your incident, it’s been four months now since CAPA blacklisted you. My questioning of CAPA has caused tremendous public speculation. We all believe that you have been framed, but I still wish to get your most honest response concerning when you traveled to Japan; that Yasukuni photo, in the background, is that the Yasukuni Shrine?

Zhang: I can say definitively that that is not the Yasukuni Shrine, because at the time I was traveling with friends to Japan for the cherry blossom season, and the itinerary was also planned by my friends. We were walking along and taking photos as we went. I am certain that the background in that photo is absolutely not the Yasukuni Shrine, I also absolutely did not enter the Yasukuni Shrine. I did not visit, much less pray there. About the stuff that has been going around online, it’s are all slander. I believe that netizens everywhere, after getting to know the truth, will reasonably evaluate this situation.


李:那好,这次你得到那么多司法工作者的支持,那么多人愿意帮你,大家一直认为那不是在帮你一个人,都觉得这种文化氛围不正确。你本来是中华人民共和国的公民,仅仅去了一次日本旅游,因为一张照片把你打成汉奸卖国贼,这个东西肯定是有所过分的,不然我也不会在质疑中国演出协会的时候提到你的问题。那么现在我主要是感觉到,你还有一张照片也引起争议,就是有个叫戴薇夫人的 (张:嗯)。戴薇夫人根据我的查证,这个人并不反华,这是我的感觉。至于她说没说过辱华的语言作为一个日本人,我不敢肯定,但是我发现这个戴薇夫人曾经跟我们尊敬的周恩来总理合过影。那么你在参加朋友婚礼的时候跟她合影的动机是什么?你知不知道她这个人,了解不了解这个人?

张:当时也是在朋友的婚礼上,然后朋友介绍这位是日本的艺人。然后我朋友也知道我是中国的艺人,所以他就提出来可不可以跟这位老太太合个影。然后我出于这种就是尊老爱幼的这个咱们中华民族的一个传统,就和她拍了一张照片。其实我本人是根本不认识她也没有任何的联系方式,所以对她的质疑是什么样的,我也并没有一个了解,之前也并不认识她。然后呢,其实因为我是土生土长的江西新余人,妈妈是党员父亲也是党员,成长,就是在党的怀抱里在祖国的怀抱中长大的。其实对于靖国神社包括这些东西,我去日本是旅游的,我根本就不关心也不想知道靖国神社到底在哪儿。但是我们从小接受的教育,日本对我们侵华的战争造成了巨大的损失,我一直铭记这段历史。在我以前的微博上我也发过很多要维护我们国家的尊严,要记住我们国家的历史,要好好地发奋图强,作为一个中国人。

李:爱国言论。

张:对对对。

Li: That’s good. Right now you’ve received the support of so many judicial professionals. So many people are willing to help you. We all believe that we are not helping only you, and we all feel that this kind of cultural environment is not right. You are a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, but just for traveling to Japan, for one photo, you got branded as a traitor. This is definitely going too far, otherwise I would not mention your case when I questioned CAPA. So I also know that you have another photo that is causing controversy, one with Mrs. Dewi Sukarno (Zhang: Yes). According to my investigation, Mrs. Dewi Sukarno is not anti-China, that is my feeling. As to whether she has said things before that insulted China as a Japanese person, I can’t be certain, but I saw that she has taken a photo before with our respected Premier Zhou EnLai. So when you attended your friend’s wedding, what was your motive for taking a photo with her? Did you know her or understand her background?

Zhang: At the time it was at my friend’s wedding, and my friend introduced her as a Japanese entertainer. Since my friend knew that I was an entertainer in China, he suggested if I could take a picture with this lady. So out of our Chinese tradition of respecting our elders, I took a picture with her. In reality I myself don’t know her and don’t have any way of contacting her. So I don’t really have context on all the controversy around her, nor do I know her personally. Moreover, I was born and raised in Xinyu, Jiangxi. My mother is a party member and my father is also a party member. I grew up and was raised in the love of our country and our party. Regarding the Yasukuni Shrine and all this other stuff, I went to Japan to travel, I wasn’t even thinking about the Yasukuni Shrine, nor did I want to know where it was. But the way I was educated since childhood, the terrible damages that Japan caused during their invasion of China, I have always remembered this part of our history. Previously on my Weibo I have posted many times about upholding our country’s dignity, remembering our country’s history, and striving our hardest as a Chinese person.

Li: Patriotic opinions.

Zhang: Yes.


李:很多我也看到过,网友也发了我许多。那么自从你妈妈给我写那个信之后,引起了大家的关注,通过你妈妈知道这件事之后给你带来了很大的网络暴力行为。这种网络暴力,对你来说,你当时表现的最具体的有哪几点,简单地给大家说一说。

张:就是陷入到一种很恐慌的一种状态,就是不敢出门,包括妈妈也是,陷入到一种恐慌的状态在家里面。然后一种自我的怀疑,就是说因为我本身是一个非常有爱国激情爱国热血的一个,一个青年吧,然后突然发生的这个事情,大家都在网上骂我汉奸,包括说我妈是日本人的情妇,然后说我父亲又怎么样,其实我父亲16年的时候就已经去世了。编造这种不实的信息。然后我就产生了自我怀疑,生活在这种恐惧当中,然后也不敢出门。妈妈就是还有很多次,她说,我到底应该怎么办,她说是不是我要从这个楼上跳下去,死了以后才能够证明自己的清白。就是有的时候我也是想,就说会不会是真的我,我死了才能够,或者我把心掏出来给大家看,才能够证明自己是一个红色的心。就是严重的自我怀疑当中。然后呢,还有包括茶店有人给送花圈,看到网上大量的给我P遗照,然后咒骂我的父母,咒骂我,还有我们的家人也受到了他们单位上的一些调查,说家里是不是有日本亲戚或者怎么样。但是我家里都是中国人,然后也没有任何外籍的亲戚,就是土生土长的江西新余人。

李:而且你的父母亲是党员,还有你的外公对吧。

张:对。

Li: I have seen many of it too, netizens have sent me many. So ever since your mother sent me her letter, it caught a lot of attention. Through your mother we found out that this incident caused a lot of cyber violence towards you. This kind of cyber violence, at the time what was the direct impact on you? Tell us a little about it.

Zhang: I just fell into a state of fear and panic, I was afraid to go outside. My mother too was in a state of fear at home. Then there was also self-doubt, because as someone who has always been a passionately patriotic young person, to have suddenly experience this, everyone online cursing me as a traitor, saying my mother was a Japanese mistress, also saying stuff about my father… My father actually already passed away in 2016. Because of these fabricated falsehoods, I started doubting myself, living in this kind of fear and afraid to go outside. My mom also said many times, “what should I do?” She said “should I jump from this building? Can I prove my innocence after I’m dead?” And sometimes I wonder too, if only with my death, only if I rip out my heart for everyone to see, can I prove that my heart is red (teddyfoxfluff: red means patriotic). Just severe self-doubt. Also, people sent funeral wreaths to the tea shop, and I saw online lots of people photoshopped my deceased photo, and all the cursing directed at my parents, directed at me. Also members of my family were investigated by their work and asked if they had Japanese relatives or something. But my entire family is Chinese, we don’t have any foreign relatives, just born and raised in Xinyu, Jiangxi.

Li: Also your parents are party members, and your maternal grandfather too right?

Zhang: Yes.


李:对,我看你的亲戚关系,很多都是党员。那么现在这个状态,在您这个舆论,还有中国演出协会给你定性这个问题,通过司法途径解决之前,还是希望你能够坚强,你一定要相信我们的国家是中国共产党领导的,社会主义法制国家。它一定会通过法律,能够把你这个事情的真相了解清楚,要相信真相。因为我一直就没有站在你的立场上去说话,我仅仅是呼吁程序正义,我相信你也是希望得到一个给你申辩的机会。

张:是,我也是相信我们的国家,相信我们的祖国,相信我们的共产党,相信我们的法律人士,一定能够给我一个调查的机会(李:对),包括给我申辩的一个机会,给一个公正和公平的判断和判决。

Li: Yes, I have seen your family tree, many party members. So now with this public opinion toward you, and also CAPA’s blacklisting of you, before it can be resolved through the law, I hope that you can be strong. You must believe that our country is led by the Chinese Communist Party, a socialist country ruled by law. Through the law, it will definitely reveal the truth behind your case. Believe in the truth. I have never spoken from your standpoint, I have only called for procedural justice. I believe that you also wish for a chance to defend yourself.

Zhang: Yes, I also believe in our country, believe in our motherland, believe in our Communist Party, believe that our legal professionals will give me a chance for investigation (Li: Yes), including giving me a chance to defend myself, giving me a just and fair judgement and verdict.


李:嗯,今天我来约你,你看那么多的律师,还有我让你看了,还有十几个全国人大代表、政协委员,都希望能见到你,跟你面对面地聊一聊。由于你毕竟现在网上还有很多争议,我们就不采取露面露脸,只是我们有一个实际的接触。将来有机会,我相信有这么一个机会,将来你会得到法律的正确对待,能够得到我们历史的检验,更能够得到正义的对待。所以我们一定要相信我们这个时代是美好的,任何一个国家任何一个时代,它都有这种个别情况的不正常现象。所以遇到问题要自信,要坚强,要保住自己的青春和生命,这是一切解决问题的基础,脱离了这个就没什么意义了。咱今天就不太多聊,到时候适当的时候我会再次联系有关政法机关司法工作者,为你这个事进行有效的符合法律程序的论证,一些论坛,要更多的司法工作者进入到这个事件当中。解决这个事件并不是为你个人,而是为了我们广大的老百姓,一个价值观的问题,一个三观的问题,所以很多人都等着这个事件的最终真相,我们希望这个事件的真相是有利于你的,只要你确确实实没有到过靖国神社。我也多次表态,我并不站在你的立场上,我更不会为你洗白,但是我相信你这次是被冤枉的。假如最后经过法律审判,你确实去了,那任何的惩罚你都应该心服口服。

张:明白,感谢李老师,能给我一个这样的说话的机会和申辩的机会,也感谢所有关注这件事情的广大网友和所有司法界的法律人士。我愿意接受调查也愿意接受质疑,也希望就是说如果,嗯,也希望能够还我一个清白吧。

李:好的,我们相信正义一定会来的,真相一定会来的。

Li: Yes, today I ask you here, you can see that so many lawyers and, as I have shown you, over ten NPC (National People’s Congress) deputies and CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) members all want to see you and talk to you face to face. Because you are involved in this controversy online, so we will not show your face, we just wanted to have actual contact. In the future, I believe you will have the chance to receive fair treatment from the law, history, and justice. So we have to believe that we live in a good era. Any country and any era, there will be the occasional abnormal occurrences. So when something happens you have to have confidence, be strong, protect your life. This is the basis of solving all problems. Without this nothing has meaning. We won’t talk a lot today. At the right time I will contact the relevant judicial and legal professionals to discuss your case according to legal procedures, to open forum; we will have more legal workers get involved. We are solving this problem not just for you, but for all of our people. This is a matter about values, about morals. So many people are waiting for the final resolution. We hope that the truth of this incident is beneficial toward you, as long as you truly did not go into the Yasukuni Shrine. I have also declared many times, I don’t stand on your side, I won’t whitewash (teddyfoxfluff: to erase actual wrongs) you, but I believe that you were framed. If in the end after legal trial, you indeed went inside, then you should accept any punishment handed to you.

Zhang: I understand. Thank you Li Laoshi (teddyfoxfluff: “laoshi” means teacher and is an honorary term) for giving me this chance to speak and defend myself. I also want to thank all the netizens and legal professionals following this matter. I am willing to be investigated and questioned. I also hope that, I also hope that my innocence can be returned to me.

Li: Okay, we believe that justice will definitely arrive, truth will definitely arrive.

5 thoughts on “Li XueZheng’s Interview with Zhang ZheHan

  1. Thank you for this post. This interview at least gave us some hope for the start of this year, that we could have Zhang Zhehan be heard.

    Like

  2. Thank you for your great work as always!
    Hopefully more people can listen/read this interview to hear from Zhang Zhehan himself and understand that he has been framed and slandered by malicious people.

    Like

  3. Thank you for putting this all together. It was so good to hear from Zhang Zhehan, even if it was heartbreaking to hear what he and his family have been through first hand. I hope we get an update on how his case is progressing and that justice arrives.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: