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Briefings - 1156. page

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

Did China Promise to Cease R&D of Nuke Weapons?

China’s Information Office of the State Council issued the white paper on "China’s National Defense in 2008" on January 20, 2009. Global Times, a newspaper under People’s Daily, later stated that Western media including BBC of Britain and Zaobao of Singapore have misquoted the white paper in saying China promises in the white paper to cease research and development of nuke weapons. Global Times says that the quote was out of context.

Source: Global Times, January 22, 2009

Beijing Censors Obama’s Inauguration Speech

A replay of the state-owned China Central TV of the live broadcast of Obama Inauguration speech shows that the broadcast was cut off when Obama was stating, …”recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.” The interpreter’s voice faded after translating the word communism. The live broadcast disappeared from the screen, replaced by a TV host asking a guest about Obama’s stance on economy.

Source: Boxun, 21 January 2009 (video clip of CCTV broadcast available).

Xinhua Special Article: Who Is Pouring Oil on Fire in the Gaza Conflict

Xinhua published a special article commenting that Pentagon’s plan to ship arms to Israel at the time when U.N. Security Council passes the resolution to ask all sides in the Gaza conflict to cease fire immediately is pouring oil to fire. The article says, “The reason why Gaza conflict is so difficult to compromise is because there are outside forces’ involvement in addition to the deep historical and ethnic contradictions, chief among which is the patronage of Israel by the United States.” The article also says, “Israel is U.S.’s reliable ally in Middle East. A strong Israel is consistent with America’s interest. Because of this reason, in almost all conflicts and wars happened in the Middle East, the United States always stand by Israel’s side as long as Israel was involved. It’s no exception in the current Gaza conflict.”

Source: Xinhua, January 13, 2009

Tougher Government Attacks Anticipated to Maintain Social Stability

2009 will be most challenging for social stability with increasing risks, said a high level Party official. Mr. Chen from the Party’s Politics and Law Committee states that new social conflicts will emerge as the old ones intensify; particularly growing complaints of the government and strong rights ideology may lead to extreme actions. Mr. Chen stated that forceful "attack" is the No. 1 action that the authorities will take to maintain social stability and it is the requisite for implementation of other measures of control.

Source: Xinhua, January 12, 2009

2008: A Year of Unprecedented Social Unrests

Escalated social unrests, major industrial safety incidents and food and medicine safety incidents marked the year of 2008, concluded Outlook, a Xinhua magazine. The public attention focus on a few problems: abuse of power combined with money has infringed on the interest of the people; lack of actions of the government officials in response to public appeals has intensified social conflicts; accountability of government officials must be institutionalized and enforceable, final solution of major incidents must predicate on democratic consultation with the public to neutralize any potential outbreaks, etc.

Source: Xinhua, December 22, 2008