The Shanxi Committee of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) startled netizens this week by lashing out at 12th term National People’s Congress delegate Shen Jilan in a post on its official Weibo account.
The CYLC, under the auspices of the CPC, is an important pillar in cultivating elite Chinese youth, who aspire to become fully-fledged members of the party.
The post on Wednesday, which criticised Shen’s latest succession as “an insult to the representative system of NPC,” was taken down on Thursday, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily .
Shen, 84, is the only delegate who has served consecutively for 58 years - since the NPC’s inception in 1954.
In an interview in 2006, Shen said that she had never abstained or voted “no”.
“As an NPC delegate, I must think in accordance with the party’s perspective instead of my own,” she reportedly said.
Shanxi Committee of CYLC later claimed that the post was a “technical error.” A disclaimer was issued which read: “We solemnly declare that the earlier post content did not represent our position,” was posted six times on Shanxi CYLC’s official Weibo account.
The deleted post originally read: “You voted for anti-Rightists, and you voted for the Cultural Revolution; but you have never ‘represented’ the people…” It was widely circulated before being taken down.
Joining the CYLC is a highly selective process, but youth members often go on to top positions in the government, notably former president Hu Jintao, who commended the efforts of CYLC earlier this year .
Some netizens criticised the way the Shanxi Committee of CYLC handled the incident. “A very typical hand tremor,” one joked about the six identical disclaimers.
“Such lousy crisis-management skills,” said another.
Others wondered who wrote the original post. One said: “it might be an intern.” Another wrote: “could it have been a robot?”