Why China won’t let people compare Xi Jinping with an imperial predecessor

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”

Journalism NGO reports ‘unprecedented hardship’ for Hong Kong’s media industry and ‘bleak’ trends in China

HKFP:Karen Cheung

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has noted “unprecedented hardship” in Hong Kong’s media industry in a new report, as well as “an overall negative trajectory for press freedom” in China.

The global press freedom union began monitoring China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan in 2008, when the authorities promised a more free media ahead Continue reading “Journalism NGO reports ‘unprecedented hardship’ for Hong Kong’s media industry and ‘bleak’ trends in China”

Responsible media should not act as Beijing’s pawns when reporting on staged, forced confessions

HKFP:Peter Dahlin

I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on the resumption of China’s cultural revolution era-type forced TV confessions, but as one of the 70 or more people who have been made to ‘confess’ on TV, always before any trial – often even before having been arrested – since Xi Jinping’s ascent, I do have a few cents to add on the subject.

Was Gui Minhai’s latest, his third, scripted by Continue reading “Responsible media should not act as Beijing’s pawns when reporting on staged, forced confessions”

China: It’s official – Xi Jinping aims to be “Dictator for life”

Chinaworker.info

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””

Free Tibetan activist Tashi Wangchuk

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”

China shuts 128,000 ‘harmful’ websites in 2017: state media

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”

Eight year jail sentence for Chinese dissident Wu Gan

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”

China has 41 journalists behind bars amid ever-widening media controls

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”

Beijing hinders free speech abroad

By Cindy

China Digital Times

At The New York Times, Wang Dan, a former leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, looks at the growing reach of Chinese censors on American college campuses as Beijing attempts to export its political control beyond its borders. Chinese international students studying in the U.S. were discouraged from attending Wang’s forums on Chinese politics due to fear of reprisal.

[…O]ver the past three months, my efforts on American campuses have been stymied. The Chinese Communist Party is extending its surveillance of critics abroad, reaching into Western academic communities and silencing visiting Chinese students. Through a campaign of fear and intimidation, Beijing is hindering free speech in the United States and in other Western countries.

The Chinese government, or people sympathetic to it, encourage like-minded Chinese students and scholars in the West to report on Chinese students who participate in politically sensitive activities — like my salons, but also other public forums and protests against Beijing. Members of the China Students and Scholars Association, which has chapters at many American universities, maintain ties with the Chinese consulates and keep tabs on “unpatriotic” people and activities on campuses. Agents or sympathizers of the Chinese government show up at public events videotaping and snapping pictures of speakers, participants and organizers.

Continue reading “Beijing hinders free speech abroad”

House arrest: Grave violations of human rights in China