Silenced blogger Ren Zhiqiang to speak at environmental forum

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-6-1 0:58:01

Ren Zhiqiang, an influential but controversial blogger whose social media accounts were closed in February for publishing "illegal information," will attend an environmental protection forum in June, the forum's organizer confirmed with the Global Times.

According to a schedule sent to the Global Times by the environmental protection NGO Society Entrepreneurs Ecology (SEE) on Tuesday, Ren - who is also a retired real estate tycoon - will give a closing speech at the forum in his role as chairman of the fifth SEE council and the former president of Huayuan Property Group.

The June 5 forum in Beijing will bring together enterprise leaders to discuss how to develop green supply and production chains.

Ren, who stepped down as head of Huayuan Group in 2014, is one of the most influential figures on Chinese social media. Netizens have dubbed him "The Cannon" for his outspoken support of controversial ideas, such as his suggestion that poor young migrant workers who cannot afford apartments in cities should return to the countryside.

China's Internet watchdog shut down Ren's blog accounts in February after he openly criticized President Xi Jinping's emphasis on Party leadership in Party-run media. State media have criticized Ren for violating Party rules and principles and "betraying" his promise to the Party.

The Committee of the Communist Party of China in Beijing's Xicheng district in May deemed that Ren had violated the Party's political discipline and placed his Party membership on probation for one year.

SEE, a business-oriented ecological organization, was initiated and established by approximately 80 entrepreneurs committed to environmental protection in China. The  enterprises are representative of China's business sector as a whole in terms of capital scale, industry distribution and geographic distribution. SEE is a nonprofit group characterized by an open membership system.

Posted in: Society

blog comments powered by Disqus