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Social Stability

Beijing Population Blue Book: Migrant and Registered Residents’ Population Declined

On December 9, the Beijing Population and Social Development Research Center under the Beijing Municipal Party School and the Social Science Literature Publishing House jointly released the Beijing Population Blue Book. According to the Blue Book, the latest data shows that the population of both migrants and registered residents in Beijing has declined.

In 2017, the resident population in Beijing was 21.707 million, a decrease of 22,000 from the end of the previous year. Among the residents, the migrant population was 7.943 million, a decrease of 132,000 compared to last year. The registered resident population was 13.592 million, a decrease of 37,000 from the end of the previous year, a drop of 3 percent.

Judging from the distribution of population at the district level, Chaoyang District has a resident population of 3.74 million, ranking first in all districts. Haidian District has a resident population of 3.48 million, ranking second. At the same time, these two districts also have a large number of migrants, totaling nearly 3 million, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the total migrant population. The populations of Miyun, Pinggu, Huairou, Yanqing, and Mentougou are relatively smaller, and the proportion of migrants is also lower.

In addition, since 2010, the education level of Beijing’s population has continued to improve and the proportion of middle school, high school education, and below has dropped from 43 percent in 2010 to 39 percent in 2017. The proportion of those with a high school education has not changed much. Those who hold a university associate degree or above has increased from 33 percent in 2010 to 37 percent in 2017. This means that nearly 40 percent of Beijing’s population has received a university education. Nearly one-fifth of them have received undergraduate education, and nearly 5 percent have received postgraduate education.

It is worth noting that population ageing is also deepening in Beijing. In 2010, the number of seniors who were 65 and above reached 1.709 million, accounting for 8.7 percent of the total population. In 2017, 2.376 million people were aged 65 and over, accounting for 10.5 percent of the total population. Corresponding to the increase in the proportion of seniors, the proportion of the working age population aged 15-64 has decreased year by year. The proportion dropped from 82.7 percent in 2010 to 78.6 percent.

Source: The Paper, December 9, 2018

China Established Online Game Ethics Committee

According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, under the guidance of the Communist Party’s Central Propaganda Department, an online game ethics committee was recently established in Beijing. Shortly after its establishment, the committee reviewed the first batch of 20 “morally problematic” online games and decided to disapprove of nine of them.

According to official media reports, the establishment of the online game ethics committee is an important measure to follow the guidance of CCP’s National Propaganda and Ideological Work Conference held in August, and to enrich the ideological and cultural contents of online games. The committee consists of experts and scholars from regulators, universities, professional institutions, and news media. Information such as the people and the organizational structure is not known. The committee was entitled to conduct an ethical review of online games and related services that may or may not have produced moral controversy and public opinion discussions.

The news itself has caused controversy among Chinese netizens. Some commented, “Whether a game is ethical or not, it should be judged by the majority of players and the whole society, instead of a few unidentified experts sitting at a desk.” Others voiced worry that such a so-called official “ethics committee” will appear in other areas of society in the future. Some netizens believe that such a unified approval model will limit the diverse and innovative development of the Chinese game industry.

Source: Radio France International, December 7, 2018

RFI Chinese: Human DNA Editor He Jiankui under House Arrest

Radio France Internationale (RFI) Chinese Edition recently reported that the University President of Shenzhen Southern University of Science and Technology brought He Jiankui, an Associate Professor from the Department of Biology, back from Hong Kong. Unverified Hong Kong media reported that He Jiankui is currently under house arrest at the University. Ever since his claim of successfully editing human DNA, He Jiankui has been criticized globally for his “achievement.” Recently, the University changed its position on He’s “success.” Commercial investments funded He Jiankui’s human DNA editing experiments and He Jiankui himself is the founder of two private DNA testing companies. There have been reports that the faculties from U.S. Rice University and Harvard University were also involved in these DNA editing experiments. However, the “team” chose He Jiankui due to China’s unclear laws on this matter.

Source: RFI Chinese, December 2, 2018

Arrest of Singer for Drug Use Linked to “Fengqiao Experience”

On November 26, 2018, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau arrested Chen Yufan, a Chinese actor and singer, for drug use and illegal possession of drugs. According to a Chinese media report, a group of common people in Beijing, or Shijingshan District precisely, tipped off the police and made the arrest happen. “This time, it was the Shijingshan masses that provided the clue. They are the new force that has gradually developed in grassroots social governance.”

Chinese media linked the arrest to the “Fengqiao Experience,” which the Chinese Communist Party advocated in recent years as a way to control Chinese society using the Chinese people.

The “Fengqiao Experience” originated during the Mao era over fifty years ago. In 1963 Mao Zedong launched a Socialist Education Movement (社会主义教育运动), also known as the Four Cleanups Movement (四清运动). In Fengqiao district, Zhuji county of Zhejiang Province, the communist cadres, instead of relying on the state and police apparatus, mobilized local people to “reeducate” and “reform” the “reactionary elements,” referring to landlords, wealthy peasants, counterrevolutionaries, and evildoers. Essentially, it was a way of having the Chinese people persecute the Chinese people. On November 20, 1963, Mao Zedong personally promoted the experience in Fengqiao district when he wrote, “The example of Zhuji raised here is a good one — other regions should follow this example, expanding the work through pilot programs.”

The “Fengqiao Experience” reappeared in official discourse starting in the 1990’s. In 2013, the CCP celebrated the 50 anniversary of Mao’s promotion of the “Fengqiao Experience.” Outside observers view it as Beijing’s response to the ever growing social unrest and instability, especially when the economic slowdown has limited the resources available for social control.

Source: The Paper, November 28, 2018

Radio France Internationale: Official Launched Expanded Self-Media Cleanup; 200,000 Social Media Accounts Closed

Radio France Internationale reported that, on November 12, the China National Internet Information Office launched the cleanup of “self-media chaos.” At present, more than 9,800 self-media accounts have been closed. The Information Office was reported to have had meetings with Tencent, WeChat, and Sina Weibo and issued warnings that the officials will continue to shut down accounts and delete articles that contain vulgar content, Internet rumors, plagiarism, and violations of the law. Both WeChat and Sina issued an official notice that they had launched self-inspection and taken actions to delete articles or close accounts in accordance with the regulations. At present 200,000 Weibo accounts have been closed.

Source: Radio France Internationale, November 13, 2018