Staff

Cults, Cores and Crowns: CMP 2017 Discourse Report

Over the weekend, the China Media Project released the Chinese-language version of co-director Qian Gang’s annual report on Chinese political discourse — his “Discourse Climate Report 2017” — through Taiwan’s Storm Media. For this year’s report, special thanks go to the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, where Qian Gang is currently on fellowship. We will have a full English version of the analysis available soon. Until then, here are a few of the key takeaways from the report. 1. The discourse highlight of the year was the “crowning,” or guanming (冠名), of Xi Jinping in the introduction of his...

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The Making of the “Low-End Population”

On the night of November 18, a fire broke out the low-rent tenement buildings of Xinjian Village in Beijing’s Daxing District, resulting in 19 deaths and 8 injuries. The authorities held two briefings at which they reported the situation with regard to deaths and injuries, and updated on the status of the investigation, including the position of the fire and its cause. Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi (蔡奇) held a meeting on November 27 with top county-level officials in the city, and discussed both the November 18 fire and the scandal surrounding alleged abuse at the RYB Kindergarten. Media...

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Freezing Out Discussion of Winter Heating

After a blaze swept through a dense residential area populated by migrant workers on the outskirts of Beijing, killing at least 19 people, there was speculation online that the fire might have been caused by the use of electrical heating owing to a recent government ban on the residential burning of soft coal. News coverage has been severely curbed in the wake of the tragedy, with only a smattering of reports outside those of the official Xinhua News Agency. Cylinders of soft coal like those in the image above have for decades been an essential source of heating fuel...

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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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