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Social Stability - 2. page

UDN: Mainland Government Tightened WeChat Conversation Monitoring

United Daily News (UDN), one of the primary Taiwanese news groups, recently reported that Mainland China has been tightening up its control of conversations made on the popular mobile chatting app WeChat. One recent example occurred after construction worker Chen posted a message regarding exiled businessman Guo Wengui’s comments on corrupt government officials. Four days later, the police detained him for five days. Another example was former sales person Wang, who used negative names when discussing current Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Chinese leader Chairman Mao on WeChat. Wang ended up being sentenced to 22 months in jail. The Chinese government has been improving its use of technology rapidly. The police have established advanced monitoring of communication channels such as WeChat, using not only sensitive word detection, but sensitive picture detection as well. A massive nationwide setup of video surveillance and facial recognition is also under way.

Source: United Daily News, December 11, 2017
https://udn.com/news/story/7332/2868268

Apple Daily: Millions of Skynet Cameras Installed to Monitor People’s Activity

Apple Daily published an article reporting that a documentary movie that CCTV aired claimed that China has built the world’s largest surveillance camera network called “Skynet.” It has over 170 million cameras installed around the country. As part of the effort to ensure stability, the Skynet project plans to install an additional 400 million cameras over the next three years. A BBC article described the camera’s capabilities. Those used in the “Skynet” project can recognize people’s age, sex, and the clothes they are wearing when they walk down the street. The project also has records of people’s facial image and their vehicle’s license plate. In a test experiment using the facial image of a BBC reporter, the installed cameras spotted the reporter at a train station within seven minutes after he attempted to “escape.”

Source: Apple Daily, December 11, 2017
https://tw.appledaily.com/new/realtime/20171211/1257551/

VOA: Low-end Population – the Most Variable Factor in China’s Politics?

VOA published an interview with some guest speakers, who discussed Beijing’s sudden eviction of tens of thousands of its “low-end population” when the weather was very cold. The “Low-end population” refers to people who do work that requires low skills and who do not hold residence status in Beijing. Below is a selection from the guest speaker’s comments.

1) It is hard to accept the term “low-end population” because it grades people into different categories. Of course, in sociology, people are divided into different social classes: the bottom, middle, and upper classes. The Chinese Communist Party claims that the proletariat is the master of China but in reality the five percent who are the elite class in China are the real master. The party follows Social Darwinism, which seeks the end result but not the means. The elite can hurt others for their gain. As a matter of fact, their authority has completely deviated from the rule by law they have been promoting. The Party Secretary of Beijing knows how propaganda works and understands the impact the media has. Therefore it is not that he chose to issue the eviction order but he had no other option. He had to force the action and couldn’t wait. It could be that the party thinks that China’s economy will collapse in the next six to 12 months. If large numbers of people are unemployed and unable to survive, it is obvious that these people could pose a huge threat to their authority. These (low-end) people still have work right now. Even though they were evicted they wouldn’t rebel. If they were unemployed, however, it is very unlikely that they wouldn’t leave even if the authorities used guns to chase them out. This is the reason that the authorities do not want to disclose right now.

2) The real reason is that the highest leader became so powerful that he has lost his judgment. He has been successfully suppressing different voices in the past few years, including social group, rights lawyers or rights activists. He feels that he has invincible power now and that he can do anything. Therefore he used a radical approach in urban management and didn’t realize that he is facing fierce resistance from the international society and his own citizens.

Source: VOA Chinese, December 1, 2017
https://www.voachinese.com/a/voaweishi-20171201-pc-china-migrant-worker/4145303.html

Beijing Official: Take Real, Rough, and Quick Action to Demolish Buildings

{Editor’s Note: A fire on November 18, 2017, at an apartment in Daxing District, Beijing caused 19 deaths. The Beijing government responded swiftly with a city-wide campaign to fix the “hidden dangers to safety.” The authorities forcibly expelled people from buildings that they declared unsafe and then immediately demolished those buildings. Continue reading

Stock Price of RYB Education Plunged; Could Face Class Action Lawsuit

VOA published an article following the reports of alleged child abuse at RYB Education, Inc. After the parent’s claims of abuse, the stock price of RYB Education, Inc. plunged 38 percent to US$16.46 on the New York Stock Exchange on Black Friday. This is below its IPO price of US$18.50. Board members of RYB Education have also declared they will buy back US$50 million of its stock in the next 12 months. RYB Education is an early child kindergartner education center. Reports were made that, after a number of parents noticed that their children had received injections with needles, were forced to ingest unknown pills or were stripped naked, news first broke out on social media. The official media, including CCTV and Xinhua then reported the news. The police department has, currently, launched an investigation into the case. During an interview with VOA, one early child educator who chose to remain anonymous said that the parents of RYB kindergartners were very afraid after they saw that a large number of posted videos on social media had been deleted. They believed that, as more and more videos were deleted, it was more likely that the officials wanted to take control of the situation. The parents were concerned that, since the police had not drawn any conclusions on the case, the parents might never get back the videos they turned over to the police. The end result could just be the arrest of a few scapegoats to close the case. Some parents were even considering filing a class action lawsuit in the U.S. because they thought that the Wall Street legal firm that represents the IPO of this company should also take legal responsibility.

Source: VOA Chinese, November 24, 2017
https://www.voachinese.com/a/red-yellow-bluw-kindergarten-beijing-stock-20171124/4136190.html

Communism in the Contemporary World: The Case of China

Download the PDF with full pictures:  DavidKilgour_Communism_Case_of_China_Paris_Nov.8&9-2017

 

The Platform of European Memory and Conscience International Conference
Collège des Bernardins and Fondation Napoleon, Paris
November 8-9, 2017
Hon. David Kilgour, J.D.

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Communism as articulated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the 19th century was not instituted in any country until after the Russian Revolution in 1917 and subsequent civil war during which an estimated 8-10 million Russians perished. Continue reading

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