Authoritarianism in China

People naturally assume China is authoritarian because of the government, but that doesn't mean there's not an ebb and flow. During periods of rising social mood there is a relative easing of restrictions, while during negative social mood, controls are increased—though this is often hidden by market developments. For example, China's weibo and other Twitter-like sites have seen increasing restrictions, but this would have happened no matter what. At first the government allows a information service to develop, then follows with restrictions once the sites become large enough and/or the technical means of control are created. Another example is massively multiplayer online games; once the games became hugely popular and children were spending hours online, the government forced the companies to kick players off after three hours.

At other times, comments or policy pierces through the noise of market and political changes and sends a clear signal of current social mood.

Thought control called for at universities
Vice-President Xi Jinping has ordered universities to step up ideological control of students and young lecturers ahead of the keynote 18th party congress this autumn, CCTV reported yesterday. Xi is expected to succeed President Hu Jintao in a new Politburo line-up at the Communist Party's 18th national congress - with the party seeking a smooth transition and attempting to remove threats to its political control.
"University party organs must adopt firmer and stronger measures to maintain harmony and stability in universities. Daily management of the institutions should be stepped up to create a good atmosphere for the success of the party's 18th congress," Xi said yesterday in Beijing at a gathering of Communist Party representatives from universities.

No comments:

Post a Comment