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Beijing Tried to Censor American Political Science Review

Radio Free Asia recently reported on how the Chinese authorities attempted to impose censorship over the Cambridge University Press. First they requested the removal of contents from The China Quarterly and the Journal of Asian Studies ( Beijing is also reported to have requested that Cambridge University Press remove articles from the American Political Science Review. The publisher rejected the request.

American Political Science Review is the highest-ranked academic publication on Political Science in the U.S. The Chinese government’s censorship of this journal shows that Beijing’s political censorship over academic publications has expanded.”

Political Science Professor Xia Ming of the City University of New York pointed out that China’s oversight of overseas academic publications has evolved in three stages.

Stage one: Only focus on Chinese content. Articles written in English can be published.

Stage two: Regardless of whether they are written in English or Chinese, an article’s subject matter cannot touch certain areas, such as Falun Gong, the Cultural Revolution, Tibet, Xinjiang, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) history, and the military.

Stage three: Even if the publication is not about China studies and does not touch the “sensitive” topics, if it is about universal values, democracy, the rule of law, and other such topics, it is subject to censorship.

“Beijing will even censor a purely academic publication (such as the American Political Science Review that does not have a strong political position regarding China). It is because the Chinese government does not want the public and academia in China to access academic articles discussing the pros and cons of different political systems in order to prevent people from developing doubts about the legitimacy of the CCP regime.”

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 10, 2017

Apple Daily: Why Xi Jinping Is Cleansing the Princelings?

Apply Daily published a commentary stating that Xi Jinping has started to remove princelings {descendants of prominent and influential senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials} from power. A discussion of the contents of the commentary follows.

“The princelings are rare to see among the newly elected representatives of the Communist Party’s 19th National Congress. They are not only rare in the civil section and state-owned enterprises, but also in the military. Several high-profile princelings in the military have either retired or been pushed aside, including Mao Xinyu (grandson of former CCP head Mao Zedong), Liu Yuan (son of former President Liu Shaoqi), Liu Xiaojiang (son-in-law of former CCP General Secretary Hu Yaobang), Zhang Haiyang (son of former Central Military Commission Vice Chairman Zhang Zhen), Liu Yazhou (son-in-law of former President Li Xiannian), Zhu Heping (grandson of former Marshall Zhu De).”

“Obviously this is Xi’s arrangement.”

The article went on to explain that the princelings, many of whom appear to have a high-profile civilian or military rank, are normally not in the key posts. Also, they have been split among many smaller groups due to the CCP’s intense in-fighting, whether among themselves or inherited from their parents.

They are likely to interfere in the administration’s policies. In 2005, Zhu De’s grandson Zhu Chenghu claimed that, if the U.S. were to interfere in China-Taiwan affairs, then  China “is prepared to sacrifice all cities on the east side of Xi’an” to have a nuclear war with the U.S. Another grandson of Zhu De, Zhu Heping, stated that China may have a military fight with Japan to gain the control of the Senkaku Islands (called the Diaoyudao Islands in China).

While the princelings may not have contributed big achievements, they can create big trouble for Xi Jinping due to their political status and their influence over the business world. Therefore, Xi has had to restrict them.

Source: Apple Daily, September 15, 2017

Xi Jinping on Traditional Chinese Culture: Don’t Lose It

Since Xi Jinping assumed power, he has mentioned and promoted traditional Chinese culture in a number of places. This is a deviation from the Communist Party’s approach which in the past has been to denounce, suppress, and even attempt the complete destruction of traditional Chinese culture.

Recently, Chinese Central Television (CCTV) broadcasted a six episode CCTV program, The Diplomacy of a Big Country. The first episode quoted Xi’s desire to keep traditional Chinese Culture.

“Xi Jinping: (Since) I became the President of the country, a number of retired officials have said to me, ‘What should the Chinese leader do? It is not to lose China’s 5,000 years of culture and civilization. It should also be passed down in your hands.’”

Source: CCTV, August 28, 2017

Hong Kong Oriental Daily: Xi Jinping Gained Total Control of the Military Prior to the 19th National Congress

On September 14, Hong Kong Oriental Daily published a news article reporting that, prior to the upcoming 19th National Congress, Xi Jinping finished a major restructuring of the Central Military Commission and the entities that report underneath it. This is unlike how it had been handled in the past when military restructuring took place following the completion of the party’s delegate conference. The restructuring included the elimination of members of the Central Military Commission. They were replaced with four Vice Chairmen of the Central Military Commission which will, therefore, consist of one Chairman and four Vice Chairmen. The article stated that the restructuring occurred after 5 years of cleanup of the old structure from the 18th National Congress in 2012, which former PLA Generals Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou had controlled. The new structure is an indication that Xi has obtained total control of the military. The article explained, “It shows that Xi has built a foundation that is capable of resisting political interference as well as the existing differences inside or outside of the party.”

Hong Kong Oriental Daily, September 14, 2017

Xinhua: China Tightening Regulation of TV Series

Xinhua recently reported that SAPPRFT (the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television), NDRC (the National Development and Reform Commission), the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security jointly issued new policies on regulating the industry of TV series to ensure the “healthy improvement” of the socialist entertainment market. The government is compiling a list of TV series to be produced to praise the Communist Party, the motherland, the people, and the nation’s heroes. The TV series are required to promote “socialist values” and the regulations focus on prime-time TV programming. The TV series investment structure will be regulated as well to eliminate celebrity-based pricing. Central Television and provincial TV stations as well as satellite stations must devote a certain percentage of broadcast time investments to titles covering the “revolution history,” rural villages and minorities, or military topics. TV ratings companies will be required to have special licenses and the ratings cannot carry too heavy a weight on title pricing or evaluation of personnel. Online video series are regulated in the same way as TV series and online video series cannot air without SAPPRFT permits. All levels of the government are required to firmly deploy and support the new policies. The work will be audited.

Source: Xinhua, September 4, 2017