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Chen: environmentalist or just a self-promoter?

(China Daily)

08:52, September 23, 2011

Cartoon by Zhang Xueli (

SHANGHAI - Chen Guangbiao, an entrepreneur who smashed his Mercedes-Benz car on Sept 16, said a lawyer who claimed his behavior was probably illegal actually helped him publicize World Car Free Day.

"I want to thank the lawyer who said my behavior was illegal, because what he did will increase public awareness that I did it to promote low-carbon, environmental protection," said Chen, whose image in China is that of a philanthropist and environmentalist.

Chen said what he wanted to do was to make more Chinese embrace the spirit of World Car Free Day and stop using their cars for transport.

Wang Deyi, the lawyer from a Beijing-based law firm, said on his micro blog that Chen's behavior could be considered illegal.

According to Article 275 of the Criminal Law, a person who intentionally destroys or damages public or private property will be fined and sentenced to three years in jail. If the amount of damage is large he could be sentenced to up to seven years in jail.

"I did not agree with what Chen did and judged his behavior under existing regulations to prove that he committed the crime of intentional destruction or damage of property, even if he only destroyed his own property in public," Wang said.

Wang said he was just explaining his comments on his micro blog, not making any personal attack on Chen.

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