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Beijing’s New Cultural Revolution, Ideological Guidance and Strategic Discussions

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It is worth noting Beijing’s recent intense work on developing culture related businesses domestically and exporting culture products internationally. This article and the next one, Beijing’s New Cultural Revolution, and Industrial Policies and Global Practices, attempt to sum up the Chinese Communist regime’s efforts in strategizing, planning, and implementation in the arena of Chinese culture. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) purpose is to solidify its governance, assure the ideological guidance of socialism/Marxism in society, and expand its global influence. This article focuses on the CCP’s ideological guidance and on debates among government officials and scholars. The second article will appear in a subsequent issue.

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Recent School Killings in China

A new crime wave stunned China recently. From March 23 to May 19, seven school killings across China were reported by news media. These pre-meditated crimes appeared to be random killings targeting innocent children (see box).

The sudden outbreak of senseless crimes highlighted China’s already shaky security condition and growing social discontent, and prompted high profile official reactions.

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New Communist Party Efforts to Revive Itself

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In his September 18, 2009, speech at the Fourth Session of the 17th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu Jintao admitted that strengthening the 75 million-member Party was an urgent need, and that there were numerous problems within the Party that seriously weakened its power as the ruling party.  [1] That same day, the Party passed the “Decision on a Number of Major Issues Regarding Strengthening and Improving the Party’s Growth under New Situations.” Xinhua touted it as “a programmatic document to guide the current and future Party’s growth.” [2]

The decision admits that “some Party members and cadres neglect theoretical studies; their studies and practices are out of touch; ideals and beliefs are shaken; their beliefs in Marxism are not firm and they lack confidence in socialism with Chinese characteristics. … These problems have seriously weakened the Party’s creativity, cohesion, and combat effectiveness; gravely damaged the Party’s close ties with the masses; and seriously affected the consolidation of the Party’s ruling status and governance to achieve its mission. We must alert the entire Party to pay close attention to resolve it.”

However, the CCP’s sense of urgency and insecurity is not new.

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Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party: Common Sense of the 21st Century?

In 1776, a booklet titled Common Sense fueled the growing discontent among the King’s subjects in America. Thomas Paine’s simple words, logic, and conviction gave millions of Americans a cause to fight for. A revolution began. A great nation was born.

In 2004, a book called the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party was published. The book made piercing revelations about the Chinese Communist Party’s evil nature, and predicted the Party’s demise in the near future. Millions across China have surreptitiously read the book, and passed it on to friends and family. Will this book do in China what Common Sense did for the American Revolution? Will this book change people’s outlook about the future of China and inspire them to fight for a future without Communism? This paper explores the answers.

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A Brief Summary of Jiu-Ping (Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party)

Faced with the nearly impossible task of clarifying the CCP’s nature, its history, current practice, and future in a single book, the authors of Jiu-Ping did a fine job in striking a balance between scope and depth. Historical facts, stories and anecdotes are used to support the analysis and conclusions.

The nine chapters are divided according to the Party’s different attributes, or characteristics, rather than along socio-economic lines, or policies. Each chapter reads like a complete paper, with a foreword, main contents, a conclusion and references (in the English version). Here we only touch on the contents. The synopsis that follows can in no way capture the depth and breathe of the entire book. We therefore recommend reading the Nine Commentaries in its entirety to achieve a full understanding of all that it encompasses. [1]

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A Celebration under Bayonets

The 60th anniversary of the CCP’s Rule finally passed. The $44 million celebration on Tiananmen Square on October 1 was a grand parade of thousands of troops along with 30 blocks of weapons, including jets, tanks, and missile-toting trucks. The communist leaders and the state media boasted of the prosperous and glorious era that China is in and the bright prospect of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

However, one “disharmonious” tone throughout the entire preparation and actual celebration was the extremely tight security control in Beijing. The Ministry of Public Security set up a “security moat” in neighboring provinces, including Hebei, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi and Shandong provinces, and the Tianjin municipality, telling police to keep “all unstable factors” out of Beijing. More than 100,000 participated, but, except for top Communist leaders and 30,000 carefully selected guests, there was no live audience. Beijing residents had to stay at home and watch the parade on TV like the rest of the country. For the safety of the celebration, many areas of the Capital were blocked and businesses were closed. Staff and residents could not even open their windows; supermarkets could not sell sharp knives and all participants had to sign secrecy agreements prohibiting them from talking to journalists, taking photos, or sending text messages.

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Xinjiang: Deadly Violence Highlights Deeper Ethnic Tension

On July 5, 2009, bloody violence broke out in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China’s far west. Per Chinese official reports, around 8 p.m., thousands of rioters suddenly began to attack civilians. They “were beating innocent people, smashing cars and buses, and burning police cars … in a southern area of the city.” [1]

The official announcement reported 197 deaths, including 134 Han Chinese. Scores of Uyghurs were presumably killed by police gunfire, but local sources indicate a much higher number. A Uyghur man who claimed to have saved some Han people told a reporter, “I think more than 500 people died, Han and Uyghur together.” [2] [3]

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Defeating Cyber Attacks: Ghosts Cannot Live in Sunlight

Formed in 2006, the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIF) is an alliance of several leading organizations that are developing and deploying anti-censorship technologies for Internet users living under oppressive regimes. The Consortium partners have contributed significantly to the advancement of information freedom in China, Iran and other “censorship” countries. Two of GIF’s most popular anti-censorship software tools, FreeGate and UltraSurf, have played a critical role in enabling Iranians in the recent election aftermath to connect and communicate over the Internet when their government blocked most overseas news and social networking websites overseas. It is estimated that, on June 20, 2009, alone, over 1 million Iranians used GIF to visit previously censored websites.

In addition,GIF itself has constantly been fending off cyber attacks launched against it.

On October 22, 2009, the U.S. Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, held a hearing on the ways in which new media and Internet communication technologies affect the balance of power between human rights activists and authoritarian governments. Zhou Shiyu, Deputy Director of GIF provided testimony at the hearing. Zhou estimated that over 90% if anti-censorship traffic comes through GIF servers. GIF has the current capacity to support 1.5 million people per day. It is working on expanding its capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand.

Chinascope recently interviewed Dr. Peter Li, GIF’s Chief Technology Officer.

Chinascope:  Recently President Obama launched the cyber security plan. Are cyberattacks a real threat to U.S. national security? Continue reading

The Journey of Clarifying the Truth While Being Persecuted — Falun Gong Practitioners From Mainland China Tell Their Personal Stories (From 1999 To the Present)

On July 20, 1999, the then leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Jiang Zemin, banned the Falun Gong spiritual practice. At the beginning of the suppression, Jiang intended to eradicate Falun Gong in “three months.” Intelligence agents locked onto Falun Gong practitioners whom they thought to be “leaders,” and its propaganda machinery prepared potent fabrications to vilify Falun Gong and turn the public against it. In so many previous persecutions, these two steps alone were enough to break the backbone and spirit of any victim group.

After failing to eradicate Falun Gong in a quick way, CCP has largely remained quiet about Falun Gong in its state-run media over the last several years, making the impression that Falun Gong is no longer in existence in China. So, did Jiang and the CCP achieve their goal? Where are the practitioners in China? What do they do these days? With these questions in mind, Chinascope interviewed the editor of the Chinese website, minghui.org. Minghui, whose English counterpart is clearwisdom.net, is the primary website for Falun Gong practitioners to obtain Falun Gong related information, report their activities, and share their experiences with each other.

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