By Isabella Jackson
This article first appeared in The Conversation on 5 March 2018
Link to original article: HERE
The Chinese Communist Party’s legitimacy is largely based on a supposed contrast between its “enlightened” leadership and the despotism of “Old China”. Any hint that the party is creating a new emperor must therefore be quashed. But the Chinese public know their history, and history is a potent political force Continue reading “Why China won’t let people compare Xi Jinping with an imperial predecessor”
Lifting of presidential term limits plunges China and its autocratic regime into unchartered territory
The news from Beijing is historic – nothing less than a political earthquake with repercussions around the world. At its upcoming “parliamentary session” (the National People’s Congress, NPC, which starts next week), China will remove the two-term limit for the presidency and vice presidency. This confirms Continue reading “China: It’s official – Xi Jinping aims to be “Dictator for life””
Calling for the right to use Tibetan language in schools is not a crime
Adam N. Lee, chinaworker.info
A nine-minute video made by the New York Times may cost Tibetan language rights activist Tashi Wangchuk fifteen years in prison. He is the latest victim in an unprecedented crackdown in which hundreds of dissidents and rights advocates have been arrested, abducted, disappeared, tortured, forced to appear in televised ‘confessions’ and in many cases served with harsh prison sentences as a deterrent to others who would challenge Beijing’s policies. Continue reading “Free Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk”
Report by SCMP
Announcement comes as the authorities tighten control of content on the internet, amid already routine censorship of the media
China shut as many as 128,000 websites that contained obscene and other “harmful” information in 2017, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported late on Monday, citing government data.
Xinhua said 30.9 million illegal publications were confiscated over the course of the year, while 1,900 people were subject to criminal penalties, according to figures from the national office in charge of combating pornography and illegal publications.
China has been tightening controls over internet content as part of efforts to maintain “social stability”, taking on “vulgar” and pornographic content as well as the unauthorised dissemination of news. Continue reading “China shuts 128,000 ‘harmful’ websites in 2017: state media”
State using systematic frame-ups and ‘carrot and stick’ methods to extract confessions
Adam N. Lee, chinaworker.info
On 26 December, the blogger Wu Gan, known by his online nickname Super Vulgar Butcher, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in Tianjin. This was the harshest sentence to be passed so far in a state crackdown on activism that began more than two years ago. It is common for China to hold trials of high profile dissidents during the Christmas period, to minimise international media coverage.
Wu was arrested in May 2015, two months before a major crackdown was launched against a group of around 250 lawyers and activists. Known as the ‘709 incident’, these mass arrests marked an escalation of state repression under ‘strongman’ ruler Xi Jinping which has since further intensified. China is currently experiencing its most severe repression since the post-1989 crackdown.
Continue reading “Eight year jail sentence for Chinese dissident Wu Gan”
Report from RFA
As governments jailed a record number of journalists around the world in 2017, a U.S.-based press freedom group says the ruling Chinese Communist Party has a total of 41 journalists currently behind bars under the newly strengthened leadership of President Xi Jinping.
In its annual report, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) hit out at U.S. President Donald Trump for making no mention of Beijing’s record on human rights during his recent trip to the country last month.
“Trump made no public reference to human rights, despite an ongoing crackdown that has led to the arrests of Chinese journalists, activists, and lawyers,” the group said.
The group also highlighted the use of “medical neglect” to target writers and journalists in jail and detention centers, citing the death of Nobel peace laureate and writer Liu Xiaobo in hospital under prison supervision last July, following a diagnosis with late-stage liver cancer.
Continue reading “China has 41 journalists behind bars amid ever-widening media controls”
Disrespect for national anthem punishible by three years in prison – latest installment in a wave of undemocratic measures
Adam N. Lee, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong)
The Stop Repression in Hong Kong campaign was launched to highlight the rapidly worsening attacks on democratic rights by Hong Kong’s government.
Socialist Action initiated this campaign in consultation with left organisations and worker activists in several countries. Key assistance has been given by the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), the international socialist organisation with parties and groups in 40 countries. In October, protesters in 22 cities around the world – from Bangalore to Vancouver – answered the call of the campaign to demonstrate outside China’s embassies.
The great crackdown of 2017 has seen six legislators undemocratically ejected from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (Legco), giving the pro-government parties a ‘super majority’ that enables them to rewrite the Legco rule-book in their favour.
This is not at all what the voters wanted in the September 2016 Legco elections, when the pro-government camp suffered one of its biggest defeats in terms of votes. In that election the combined opposition parties got 60 percent of the vote, an increase from 56 percent in the elections of 2012. This was obtained on the highest election turnout for two decades.
The establishment’s purge of the Legco has nothing to do with ‘rules’ or ‘oaths’ – that was a legal smokescreen created by the Chinese dictatorship and its Hong Kong puppets. Its real purpose is to attack the most radical voices in the democracy struggle, such as ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung, and try to eliminate these forces from the struggle. This will not succeed and can actually blow up in the government’s faces, increasing public support for the ‘radicals’.
Under Beijing’s pressure, which ultimately reflects its fear of mass radicalisation spreading from Hong Kong to China, the news media in Hong Kong is increasingly a megaphone for China’s dictatorship. Reporters Without Borders lowered Hong Kong’s press freedom ranking in 2017 to 73 (out of 180 countries). This ranking has been falling year after year since 2002, when Hong Kong was ranked 18 in the world. China is ranked 176, the fourth worst in the world.
Continue reading “2017: Year of the crackdown in Hong Kong”