A July 31 People’s Daily overseas edition editorial simultaneously called for internal reform and warned against U.S. efforts to undermine China from the grassroots. Netizens have latched on to this passage in particular:
…with ‘Internet freedom’ as its slogan, they [the Americans] will attack ‘top down’ governance in order to push forward the traditional model of liberal democracy; through the use of ‘rights lawyers’, underground religion, dissidents, internet heroes, and disadvantaged social groups as the core forces, they will push for a ‘bottom-up’ approach to Chinese governance from the grassroots to lay a foundation for changing China…
China’s “rights lawyers,” people like Chen Guangcheng and Si Weijiang, struggle under a system that at best selectively enforces rule of law.
Cui Weiping, an outspoken professor at the Beijing Film Academy, gave an especially piquant retort to this editorial on Weibo:
BeijingCuiWeiping: Everyone can relate to at least one of these: “rights lawyers, underground religion, dissidents, internet heroes, and disadvantaged social groups.”
Others have compared the article’s list of five bad influences to the five black categories of the Cultural Revolution:
GuoOldStudent: The old five black categories: land owners, the rich, anti-revolutionaries, bad elements, rightists. The new five black categories: rights lawyers, underground religion, dissidents, internet heroes, and disadvantaged social groups.
LittleKe: First comes family, then country, then everything else. Average Chinese are just trying to get by in their daily lives. They won’t be able to help the country until their own situation is stable, and after that they’ll naturally consider everything else. The people of Shifang and Qidong are doing just that: protecting their own. They’re perfectly capable of protecting the interests of the country. Whether you believe it or not, I firmly do.
HeBin: I’ve heard those American devils plan to use
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