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Party Leader Rebukes Debate on Freedom of Speech

Jia Qinglin, Chairman of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the Number 4 Party leader, published a strongly worded article to scold those who call for freedom. In a article published in Party Magazine Qiu Shi (Seeking the Truth) on January 16, 2008, Jia wrote:”(We must) continue to uphold the correct political direction, steadfastly walk along the unique Chinese socialist political road; build a solid defense against Western Two-party or Multi-party system; against the Two-House, Three-Power Center system and various other wrong ideas.”

Jia’s comment was a clear attempt to squelch the recent debate on freedom in Chinese official media.

In January 2009, three articles in Chinese Media stirred up great interest among Chinese people:
Beijing Daily (January 13):“Seeking the Truth Cannot Separate from Freedom of Speech”;
People’s Daily (January 13): “How Could Government Officials Survive Internet Scrutity” ;
Yan Huang Chun Qiu (January, 2009): “Constitution Politics: The Demand for China’s National Revival” .

These articles and the fact they passed the censor, and Jia’s quick rebuttal were seen as a sign of heated debate among Chinese top leaders.

Source: Yazhou Zhoukan, February 2, 2009