Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Intellectual imprisonment---China tightens grip on discourse, ideology--frozen the microblog accounts of intellectuals

China tightens grip on discourse, ideology

 Chinese authorities have shut down
or frozen the microblog accounts of several prominent liberal
intellectuals and harassed rights lawyers lobbying against
unofficial "black jails," underlining the determination of the
country's new leadership to control dissent even as it vows to
root out corruption.
    The moves over the last few days occurred around the time
officials announced that a senior official was being
investigated for graft, months after a prominent journalist
accused him of wrongdoing.
    The probe against Liu Tienan, deputy chairman of China's
economic planning agency, was heralded by the Chinese press as
proof that the battle against corruption is best fought when
authorities allow public participation.
    "The authorities and the people combined their strengths
in this case, and it is an encouragement to the public's power
in fighting corruption," said a state-run daily, the Beijing
News, in a commentary.
    But in other instances, the authoritarian government has
shown an unwavering intent to clamp down on anyone who seeks
to publicly pressure it into social or political change. The
message appears to be that if any reform is on the agenda, the
Communist Party will push it through on its own terms.
    "The controls are tighter than ever," said Li Cheng, an
expert on China's elite politics at the Washington-based
Brookings Institution. "The challenges are greater, so the
suppression is escalating."
    Small groups of activists have been detained in Beijing
and other cities for holding banners calling for officials to
publicly declare their assets a key anti-graft measure that
the government has been reluctant to implement.
    One activist, Liu Ping, has been accused of inciting
subversion, a vaguely worded charge frequently used to
suppress dissidents.
    Authorities are also maintaining a years-long effort to
quash legal activism.
    On Monday, several rights lawyers attempting to visit one
of China's unofficial detention centers also known as "black
jails" in the southwestern city of Ziyang were beaten by
unidentified men, said Beijing attorney Li Heping, who was
contacted by one of the lawyers.
    The efforts to police discourse are also being ramped up
in the Chinese blogosphere, where users often challenge the
government's version of events and its control over
    Over the weekend, authorities apparently removed all
microblog accounts belonging to the writer Hao Qun, better
known by his pen name Murong Xuecun, from four different
sites. His subsequent efforts to set up new accounts have been
blocked, he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment