Staff

Online Sharks

A report released in 2016 in China about the protection of internet users’ rights said that 37 percent of web users had suffered some sort of “economic loss” as a result of fraudulent activities online. Meanwhile, 84 percent of web users had experienced “harmful effects” as a result of having personal information leaked online. Despite serious problems — including the elephant in the room, the government’s own draconian use and plans for personal information — China does not yet have a Data Protection Law. The above cartoon, by Yi Zhengyi (尹正义), somewhat incongruously illustrates the issue of personal data...

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Locking Away the Questions

On November 6, 2017, the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress released a draft National Supervision Law that spells out the powers of a new anti-corruption body, the National Supervision Committee. The new law, which is expected to take effect in March 2018, has come under criticism over the past week — with some experts in China and beyond arguing that the law risks replacing an abusive shuanggui system — which for many years has invited rampant abuse of suspects under secret detention — with a new liuzhi system that still offers, some...

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The Party, At the Helm

At the recent 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, where Xi Jinping demonstrated that he had concentrated power to a degree unprecedented in China’s reform era, one of the most outstanding themes was the need to strengthen the power and authority of the Party itself. The need to “strictly govern the Party,” or congyan zhidang (从严治党), has been one of Xi’s most consistent themes. And it was inspiration earlier this year for the following series of cartoons by Tian Cheng (天呈) posted to the website of Shanghai’s Liberation Daily. The cartoons are very direct, and perhaps quite...

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An Unwelcome Joke

Over the past five years under Xi Jinping, China has become far more direct about how the control of the press, internet and public opinion are crucial in order to maintain social and political stability. Xi has said the media must “be surnamed Party” — that is, follow the Party’s line and policies, and not do the kind of reporting that works against them. He has pressured the traditional media so hard that coverage across the country can often look identical. But still, outright criticism of China’s press as being too unified is not at all welcome. Which is...

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Pu Zhiqiang on Trump’s Arrival in Beijing

Since January this year, former CMP fellow Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), one of China’s most prominent civil rights lawyers, has been more active on Twitter. This follows a hiatus of nearly three years since his detention in May 2014. In a post earlier today, just as U.S. President Donald Trump was arriving in Beijing for an official three-day visit, Pu offered — with the help of a VPN — bitter remarks on the US-China relationship, indirectly highlighting the way human rights are not just sidelined but invisible. Pu closes his post with the wish that America might also achieve “great...

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U.S. Embassy Weibo Post on Trump Deleted

President Donald Trump’s visit to Beijing this week is a topic no doubt many Chinese have opinions about. Naturally, however, discussions between Trump and Xi Jinping touch on many issues that are too sensitive to speak of openly on social media. One of those issues is North Korea. A seemingly innocent post at around 2PM Beijing time by Weibo user “Wang Dong Money” (王东Money), a former magazine editor with just under 76,000 fans, was deleted less than two hours later. It simply read: There is a big foreign affairs event in Beijing tomorrow. From the afternoon to evening, many...

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