On September 9, 2010, officials from China’s Ministry of Health arrived in Shangcheng (商城), Henan province, to investigate the outbreak of an unidentified tick-borne illness that had claimed the lives of 29 in the province during a four-month period. News came the same day that confirmed cases, including several deaths, had also been reported in Jiangsu province. Chinese media reported that health officials in Henan had kept the epidemic a secret for months, disregarding the health and safety of the public, in the name of “preserving social stability.” In this cartoon, posted by artist Zhang Xixi (张兮兮) to his QQ blog, a massive and faceless green bully representing “stability preservation” (维稳), a top priority of the CCP leadership as social tensions are on the rise, smothers citizens under a pall of secrecy while disease carrying ticks scuttle around their fingertips.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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