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Government/Politics

China Cleans up School Library Books — by Burning Them

In late October, the library in Zhenyuan County in China’s northwestern Gansu Province burned some 60 books. The photo of the book burning scene spread widely online and received public attention. The book burning incident resulted from a directive that the Chinese Ministry of Education issued in October. The “Notice on Launching a Special Campaign to Examine and Cleanse Books in Nationwide Elementary and Middle School Libraries” requires schools to conduct a self-examination of books in accordance with the “cleanup standards.” The “clean-up standards,” were attached to the notice. They stated that the books to be cleansed should include “illegal books,” “inappropriate books,” and “books with a poor appearance so they are not worthy of preservation.”

Hu Ping, an overseas independent scholar overseas, believes the burning of the books reflects the CCP’s control over the people’s ideology, which also includes actions such as cleaning online postings and college informants. Hu told the BBC that book censorship is not new to mainland China. The books stored in libraries have already been screened. However, under the existing mechanism of censorship, the book burning reflects the current regime’s dramatic leaning toward the left.

Source: BBC Chinese, December 11, 2019
https://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/trad/chinese-news-50727670

People’s Daily Builds A Media Lab to Strengthen Propaganda for the Party

At an event on December 8, Xu Zhengzhong, deputy editor-in-chief of the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced  that the “National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Content for Communication” had been established. The lab has a mission to “spread the voice of the CCP wider and farther.”

The lab is under People’s Daily’s supervision and uses People’s Daily’s online platform. The lab will focus on artificial intelligence research and focus on three main directions: scientific theory and the computation of the accurate dissemination of mainstream values, intelligent content review and risk management, and national cyberspace governance in terms of content dissemination.

Xu said that the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the CCP proposed “to build a mainstream public opinion landscape that integrates online and offline contents and coordinates domestic and foreign propaganda; and also to establish an all-media communication system based on content production, supported by advanced technology and innovation management.”

According to Xu, the lab is also to implement the spirit of the “1.25” speech of Xi Jinping. In the future, the technology of media fusion will be used to “expand the coverage of mainstream values and to spread the Party’s voice wider and farther.”

Xi Jinping delivered the “1.25” speech on January 25 this year at the 12th study session of the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee. Xi said, “We must use the achievements of the information revolution to promote the in-depth integration of media, scale up and strengthen mainstream public opinion, and consolidate the common ideological basis of the people, of the Party, and of the nation, so as to provide spiritual strength and public opinion support for achieving the goal of ‘two hundred years’ and achieving the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

Source: Central News Agency, December 8, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201912080073.aspx

China’s Security Czar: Defend National Political Security; Crack Down on Infiltration of Hostile Forces

On November 28, Guo Shengkun, who is the head of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) Political and Legal Affairs Commission (PLAC), published an article in People’s Daily. The article called for the firm defense of “national political security,” which is “the lifeline of the Party’s and the nation’s security, and an unshakable bottom line.” Guo vowed “resolutely and severely to prevent and crack down on” the infiltration of hostile forces. The PLAC is a CCP agency that oversees all legal enforcement authorities, including the police force.

In the article Guo also said that the construction of the “people’s defense line for national security” should be strengthened. The whole country and the entire population should enhance their awareness of the sense of national security and enhance the nation’s ability to prevent and defend against national security risks. He said that everyone ought to be “on high vigilance, take resolute precautions, and severely punish” the hostile forces’ infiltration and their destructive and subversive, activities to promote secession, thus “building a solid copper and iron wall for national security.” Guo also advocated for concerted efforts to advance national security work and walk the “path of national security with Chinese characteristics.”

Regarding issues causing potential social unrest, Guo demanded that the problem be prevented at an early stage and at the grassroots level. “Small matters stay in the village, big issues go no further than the township, and conflicts are not passed on to higher level authorities.”

Source: Central News Agency, November 28, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201911280317.aspx

A Cartoon That Moved Many People to Tears

The Hong Kong people sent a major message to Beijing in the district council election on November 24, 2019. The election saw an unprecedented turnout (71 pecent of eligible voters showed up). The number of people voting has tripled the number of pro-democrats from 124 seats to 388 seats while the number of those who are pro-Beijing parties and independents shrank to only 62 seats, a drop of 242 seats.

A Taiwanese cartoonist, whose Facebook account is SXTbit, posted a cartoon about the vote. The cartoon has moved many people into tears. The following is the cartoon and the translation:

A Hong Kong mother knocked on the door of her daughter’s room: “Sweetheart, mommy’s coming in now!”

 

Holding a wipe in her hand, mother said, “Mommy went out to vote yesterday!”

 

While cleaning the desk, mother continued, “You always asked us to go out to vote. This time I also dragged your dad to go along!” “The line was really long!”

 

Sitting on her daughter’s bed, mother kept talking, “I voted for the young candidate whom you asked me to vote for!” “You know what? This time in our Wong Tai Sin District, the pro-Beijing camp didn’t win any seat at all!”

 

The scene zoomed out. In an empty room, the mother sat on her daughter’s bed and said with great mourning in her heart, “If you could hear this, would that give you a bit more comfort…”

Note: A poster on the wall said, “Five key demands, not one less!” Another one said “Support Hong Kong!”

Source: Facebook, November 24, 2019

[English]"Sweetheart, mummy's coming in now!"

Posted by SXTbit on Sunday, November 24, 2019

 

 

To Block Falun Gong Cases, Local Justice Officials Threaten Lawyers’ Parents

On November 25, Lu Tingge, a human rights lawyer in China’s Hebei province, filed a complaint with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Commission for Discipline Inspection of Shijiazhuan city, capital of Hebei, and the city government’s Supervisory Commission. The complaint stated that in August of 2019, two senior officials of the Justice Bureau of the Shijiazhuang City government visited Lu’s parents, carrying two barrels of cooking oil as a gift. Claiming themselves to be Lu’s superiors and colleagues, the officials threatened Lu’s parents with serious consequences if he continued representing Falun Gong cases.

Lu Tingge believes that such a visit constituted a serious infringement on his rights and those of his family and also violated the CCP’s own discipline. In the light of their suspected use of public power for private use, misappropriation of funds and property intended for poverty alleviation, and their violation of citizens’ rights, they should be subject to a serious investigation.

Lu said, “First, their attempt to restrict me from representing Falun Gong cases by itself is illegal; Second, they should have come to me if it’s about my practice, instead of harassing my family. My practice of law has nothing to do with my family. . . . Third, they actually did this in the name of poverty alleviation. This represents a suspected misappropriation of poverty alleviation funds.”

Sui Muqing, a Guangdong based human rights lawyer whose license has been suspended for representing sensitive cases, told Radio Free Asia that, in recent years, the Chinese Communist Party has cracked down severely on human rights lawyers  and the Justice Bureaus have played the role of hatchet man. Sui said that on the surface China’s judicial bureaus protect lawyers when, in fact, their role is to monitor and control lawyers and make sure the lawyers follow the Party and the government.

Lu Tingge is a well-known human rights lawyer. In early March this year, the authorities took Lu away for half a month after he proposed a constitutional amendment. He was also one of the defenders of the Beijing-based human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, who was arrested for proposing a constitutional amendment.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 26, 2019
https://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/cn-Hebei-11262019104408.html

Huanqiu Attributes the Results of the Hong Kong Election to Influence from Western Countries

A November 26 editorial from China’s State media, Huanqiu (Global Times) attempted to attribute the results of the November 24 Hong Kong District Council election to the influence of Western countries.

“In the past week, some Western forces have worked at full steam to assist the Hong Kong opposition in the District Council elections. The Australian media suddenly revealed that ‘an agent who committed infiltration in Hong Kong surrendered’ (the man was a scammer). Also a former employee of the British Consulate General in Hong Kong who was arrested three months ago in the Mainland precipitously claimed to the BBC that he had been ‘tortured’ while in the Mainland. These factors have influenced public opinion in Hong Kong. In addition, the U.S. Congress expeditiously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. All of these targeted the District Council elections.”

“The Western forces and the radical forces in Hong Kong wanted to turn the elections into a political demonstration and deny that stopping the violence and ending the riots is the most urgent task facing Hong Kong at present.”

“It is inconceivable and completely impossible that most people in Hong Kong support violence, support the formation of a political confrontation in Hong Kong, and support Hong Kong in becoming a bridgehead for some American political forces to exert pressure on China. The reason is that this would severely damage everyone’s interests and push Hong Kong into great uncertainty.”

“A number of forces in Hong Kong, including the opposition, must compete for influence within the existing establishment. No one should follow the wicked path of street politics.”

Source: Huanqiu, November 26, 2019
https://opinion.huanqiu.com/article/9CaKrnKnYqd