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Xie Yaohuan - The Trial of a Good Official

19 August 2012

Xie Yaohuan is said to be the member of the Imperial Politburo of the Tang Dynasty when China's only woman emperor Wu Zetian reigned the Middle Kingdom. One day the emperor received a report saying the peasants in Chongqing (or Suzhou?) congregated along the Yangtze River (or around the Lake Tai? -- Sorry, forgive us for our bad memory) and engaged in armed uprising against the government, so Xie Yaohuan was sent to resolve the conflict.

It is due to this fateful assignment that China is believed to have lost an excellent official along with her faithful soul mate, but gained an inspirational legend about courage and justice.

When arriving at the troubled spot, Xie Yaohuan and her aid Su donned men's clothes and disguised as tourists to find out the causes for the revolt. It turned out that the peasants were driven to rebel by the royal family members, the corrupted officials and their relatives, who ganged up with criminal organizations to demolish people's homes by force and to take villagers' farmlands as their own. With the help of her assistant Su and her boyfriend Yuan, Xie Yaohuan put the head of the criminal gang - the son of a high official - to death and severely punished the royal felon.

What Xie Yaohuan did won the heart of the peasants who gradually walked out of the Lake Tai and laid down their weapons - peace and prosperity once again graced the land.

But the disgraced royal family members and the corrupted officials were not going to let Xie Yaohuan get away with her "Black Strike" (打黑) campaign lightly. They forged documents against Xie, accusing her of harbouring a high political ambition (政治野心很大) and of having a special link to a 007 from the alien tribes with a plan to usurp the throne (谋反).

Xie Yaohuan was arrested. The royal member and the corrupted official persuaded and pressed her to admit the crimes that she did not commit. She refused.

Hence the gang conspired to get an imposter to appear in the court and confess the sins in her name, yet they failed to find someone who looked as pretty and as intelligent and as courageous as their political enemy, so they gave up.

As for the consequence of their failed attempt to find the imposter, there are two different versions. One claims Xie Yaohuan was tortured to death, and the another says she survived the ordeal and returned to Imperial Politburo and eventually became a prime minister, which, according to this version, contributed greatly to the rise and rise of the China empire during the Heyday of the Tang Dynasty. But whatever the truth about her fate, the destinies for the sinister royal member and the corrupted high official are the same: one was executed and the another was banished to the wilderness.

Allegedly the disconsolate souls of the guilty ones vowed that when the drama replayed again next time, they would get imposters to help convict the innocent regardless if they look alike.

So here we are.

Beijing Opera: Xie Yaohuan

Ding Xiaojun as Xie Yaohuan




The corrupted court official: "Admit your crimes without delay, or I'll find someone else to confess your sins in your name."

Xie Yaohuan: "I know you are capable of doing anything to convict the innocent."

Xie Yaohuan: "It's not the first time you guys working with criminal organizations to frame the good people."

Xie Yaohuan: "In order to seize power and snatch wealth, there is nothing that you guys wouldn't dare to do: You've broken so many families by forcibly demolishing their homes to expand your own estate; you've implemented a genocidal scheme by coercing people to consume gm food; you've driven millions of the old and the sick to desperation by failing to provide them with essential old age and healthcare support ..."

Xie Yaohuan: "Since time immemorial, China has never been short of courageous men and women who are willing to stand and fall for their nation and their people. And if I have to die for a good course, I know I will become one of them, which will be the greatest honour of my life."

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