Cat loving Twitterer is the scourge of the Chinese Communist Party

Mr Li, 30, spends most of his waking hours in front of his computer. When he takes a break, it is to feed his four cats! Great. He is a cat lover and the reason why he spends all his time in front of the computer, never seeing daylight, is because he has seen a surge in interest in his Twitter account in which he tweets updates about China on such things as the Covid protests which resulted in President Xi Jinping changing the rules and lifting the stifling lockdowns.

Li glued to his computer screen in Italy
Li glued to his computer screen in Italy. Picture: CNN.
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The reason why the President ordered mass, zero-tolerance lockdowns, such as in Shanghai, is because China’s Covid vaccinations are pretty well useless. They are rather ineffective at least and Chile bought them during the middle of Covid and they didn’t work there either. Chile had one of the highest rates of Covid infections and deaths. Also, China’s elderly citizens don’t trust the vaccine so don’t take it. The authorities are bribing them with gifts of up to £60 to take the vaccine! Millions are infected even now at the end of 2022.

In China, Western social media is completely stifled so the population can’t see it unless they access it via a VPN (Virtual Private Network). As a result, some Chinese citizens do get to see Mr Li’s tweets which allows him to tell them what is really going on rather than what the Communist Party wants them to think what’s going on.

This has made him very popular in China amongst the citizens which is why his Twitter account has surged in popularity with a fourfold increase of followers to 800,000 in a matter of weeks. He has received thousands of submissions daily and up to a dozen per second at the height of the Covid protests.

Journalists and activists have followed his Twitter feed closely. Some have been aired on television is in other parts of the world.

He says that he doesn’t have the time to react. All you can do is document what is happening and the influence that he has had in China is beyond his imagination. He said: “I didn’t expect billions of clicks on my feed in such a short period”.

As you can imagine, his Twitter activity caught the eye of the Chinese Communist Party. They don’t like it of course but they can’t touch him personally because he lives in Italy. He moved there in 2016 to study art. He is an artist.

In order to get at him the Chinese Communist Party has put pressure on his parents. They wanted to know whether there were any foreign forces behind his work. He said that there weren’t. His father apparently pleaded with him to “pull back from the brink” and stop posting tweets.

In response, he said: “I can’t turn back now, please don’t worry about me. I don’t think I’m doing anything wrong.”

He might be worried about his parents but he won’t stop. He is delighted that it doesn’t have to use coded messages when using social media in the West as he had to do when he was using Weibo, China’s social media website alternative.

He says that within China, countless numbers of his accounts were wiped out from Weibo for speaking up during the Covid pandemic and other issues such as feminism. Li said that he lost 52 accounts over two months! He said that his accounts on Weibo “would survive for about four or five hours – with the shortest record being 10 minutes. I treated it as a performance art.”

The guy is amazing. Can you imagine opening an account on social media and having it taken down within 10 minutes by your government? It looks as though he moved to Italy not only for the art course but also to enjoy some freedom of expression. Free speech is not available to Chinese citizens living in China. And this is exactly why his Twitter tweets are doing so well.

And he appeals to me tremendously because he’s got courage and four cats!

An example of his tweets with a Google translation:

“However, at the same time as the full liberalization, some netizens discovered that the State Council issued a document stating that appropriate measures will be dynamically taken in accordance with the law to suppress the peak of the epidemic. Some netizens believe that this will greatly increase the operability of the grassroots and localities, and it is likely to evolve into excessive epidemic prevention in various places again.”

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