Xue Biqun, also known as Xue Manzi, an angel investor and influential Sina Weibo blogger, was detained on Friday on the charge of soliciting prostitution. Xue's celebrity has made this issue popular on the Internet, with revelations also confirming Xue's US citizenship. Coupled with Qin Zhihui's arrest a few days ago, rumors have immediately been stirred up, claiming that the two were linked and formed a "decapitation strike" in the Chinese government's campaign to purify the online environment.
People should be clear that as long as Xue was caught red-handed, the police has nothing to be blamed for. In China, prostitution is illegal, and has become a stumbling stone for public figures from many walks of life, including government officials. Nobody is allowed to ask for immunity for punishment if they violate this law.
It is meaningless to suspect that Chinese authorities might be using this case to crack down on Xue's massive influence on public opinion. Even so, he has to fall on his sword when faced with law enforcement being "selective." Public figures in the global sphere are always taking much bigger risks than ordinary people. A debate over the authorities' motives can do nothing to help Xue get out of his predicament.
Xue's active participation and deep involvement in China's politics on the Internet has made him highly influential. But this means he has to bear special pressure and scrutiny over his personal conduct. People who are addicted to raising up political confrontations should be clear that without a clean conscience, they are engaging in a groundless undertaking.
However, the government should be cautioned that no matter what accusations Xue is charged with, his detention must strictly follow the provisions of law and proceed in an impeccable manner. Such an action will bring about a sensational discussion among the public, which will verify whether the authorities' actions were legitimate. A single loophole in the process will not only make the case backfire but enormously impair the public trust of the government and the authority of the law.
Only by doing so, can any cries for sympathy or any grievances on the Internet be stopped from trying to subvert the case. As for Xue, a few days' detention will make him lose ground as a public opinion thought-leader.
Such an open announcement concerning Xue's detention will inevitably cause widespread effects. Suspicions and speculations should be treated as normal phenomena. It also should be noted that voices which support his detention are louder, meaning the authorities managed to score plaudits from both law enforcement and morality standpoints.
The government is not a scarecrow. It is solidifying its determination to use legal means to regulate everyone in this country acting within the scope of the law.
Only by complying with laws and the Constitution can the whole nation have a diverse public opinion forum while keeping its social stability.
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