China’s leaders meet in Beijing this week for the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), an ideological internet war in the country.
Xi Jinping wants to Control the internet in China
Some experts predict that President Xi Jinping will use the meeting to establish a level of control and influence over the party since Mao Zedong, the strong man founder of the China People’s Republic
While the Internet has always been a key battleground for the party, in the last 12 months there has been a marked increase in censorship, with new laws and regulations aimed at online expression even in certain areas or where dissent was tolerated or went unnoticed.
Digital : center of the summit of the Communist party
On the face of it, the congress is a high-profile summit of the Communist party’s great and good. The official task of the 2,287 carefully screened delegates selected to attend this year’s event is to ponder and approve new policies and elect the people who will lead China for the next five years.
In reality, however, experts say this year’s congress – the 19th since the party’s foundation in Shanghai in 1921 – is all about one man: Xi Jinping.
“The most significant thing … is that it is most likely simply to confirm Xi Jinping’s preeminence – almost like a coronation,” says Elizabeth Economy, the director for Asia studies at the Council of Foreign Relations.
[…] Firstly, Xi may decline to promote a successor, indicating that he intends to remain in the top party post for a third, or perhaps even fourth term. According to party norms, China’s top two leaders are usually publicly anointed at a congress five years before they take power. Xi emerged as China’s presumed future leader at the 17th party congress, in 2007. But so far no likely successor has appeared; one man seen as a possible successor was recently toppled in a politically charged corruption investigation.
[…] Secondly, some believe Xi will use the congress to write a new Xi Jinping-related body of ideology – perhaps called Xi Jinping Thought or Theory – into the party constitution. That would put Xi in nearly the same political league as the revolutionary leader, Mao, and would be another sign that he was intent on extending his rule beyond the customary decade. “Instead of being first among equals, Xi would simply be first,” says Economy
source : Digital Times
Since coming to power in 2011, Xi has tried to reform the country in his image, promoting a new ideology to replace the dwindling relevance of communism and Mao Zedong’s Thought in a country where state capitalism and a global approach to do of the standard money.
“Unlike any other Chinese leader since the reform era, Xi Jinping has worked to forge a purely Chinese national narrative,” write the authors of a new study by the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS).
At the same time, the Party has “taken drastic measures to suppress ideas it considers hostile.”
Censorship in China
It has more experience than most in the fight against censors and pushes the limits of freedom of expression in China. source
From self-imposed exile in the USA. I made eleven run VIP Reference, an online newsletter that compiled banned news and political gossip that was reported to thousands of subscribers beyond the Great Firewall.
But the advances of censorship soon made that impossible, and for years Li was effectively cut off until the advent of WeChat, the most popular messaging application used for everything from sharing photos to reserving taxis and paying restaurant bills.
In “Sprawling group chats hundreds of strong members, with names like” Big Teet’s Lecture Hall “, Li and dozens of others share news from dissident websites, challenge messages and viral photos.
However, Li has become a victim of a new type of Internet censorship that intrudes into previously private areas where limited discrepancy or at least dissenting discussion was once tolerated.
Digital in China and new regulation
New regulations on Wechat have been introduced that harshly reduce chats, replacing administrators with their friends’ conversations or facing punishment.
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“All WeChat users will be affected,” explained this Digital Agency
The owner of WeChat, Tencent, did not respond to a request for comments on the new regulations, but it seems to have been widely implemented:
Last month, 40 members of a chat group in Hubei Province were disciplined for “posting inappropriate comments” by circulating letters they asked the local government, according to state media.
Beijing residents can expect two things when the city hosts major political events:
- beautiful blue skies,
- and massively increased censorship on the Internet.
This year is no different. Along with the new WeChat regulations, the Party Congress approach has seen VPNs blocked, technology companies have been fined and a number of new materials banned.
While previous political events also coincided with crackdowns on the Internet, MERICS researchers discovered that there has been a shift towards “party and state institutions increasingly interfering in people’s lives.”
Wechat New Chat rules
The new group chat rules “extend to individual users the political controls that were once directed to the Chinese media, and were the nightmare of journalists, editors, publishers and monitors of single websites,” according to David Bandurski, of the University of Hong Kong.
Social Media in China
Social media sites, blog networks and editors have long been forced to censor mentions of everything from religious movements and homosexuality to anti-government protests and calls for Tibetan independence.
In July, the Shandong man was sentenced to two years in prison for posting online comments by calling Steam Steamed Bun Xi and calling Mao Zedong a “bandit” according to Human Rights in China, an NGO based in Hong Kong.
The Future of Digital in China
“Digital technologies that many thought could disrupt Party dominance of the agenda” have allowed