Playing Politics: Twitter Responds to Third Plenum

During the Third Plenum meetings this past weekend, the Communist Party Central Committee issued a communiqué outlining the plan for various reforms under the Xi Jinping administration. Among those was the establishment of a “,” modeled on the U.S. Council, with some crucial differences. From the New York Times:

But the Chinese body, which was announced at the conclusion of a party meeting this week, will apparently differ from the American National Security Council in one crucial aspect: The Chinese version will have dual duties with responsibility over domestic security as well as foreign policy, Chinese experts say.

That means the new body will deal with cybersecurity as well as the unrest in China’s Tibet and Xinjiang regions, where resistance against the Han majority population is continuing, according to Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing and an occasional adviser to the government.

“In China, the security question is largely domestic: cyber, Xinjiang and Tibet,” Mr. Shi said. The focus will be on foreign policy with a considerable domestic component that will call for the Public Security Bureau to participate on the committee when it discusses matters of internal security, he said. [Source]

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang elaborated on who the committee would be targeting:

“The purpose of the committee is to ensure the nation’s security,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular briefing today when asked about the body. “That should make terrorists, extremists and separatists nervous. Anyone who would disrupt or sabotage China’s national security should be nervous.” [Source]

On Twitter, netizens offered their own perspectives on the Third Plenum communiqué and on the new security committee. Translated by Little Bluegill:

@pufei: All of the announcements about to be published [from the Third Plenum] will fall into one of three categories: declaring revolution, promoting immigration, or showing off new tricks for swindlers. Anyone hoping to see something else should go take their medicine.

即将发布的公告无非就三种可能:革命宣言、移民广告、骗子新招,想其他的同学,该去吃药了。

@八半仙: If a thousand thieves suddenly gathered together, they would surely exchange their rice-drunk experiences with each other. If a thousand perennial liars gathered together, then they would definitely want to fabricate a lie as big as the sky itself.

八半仙:如果几千个小偷突然汇拢在一块,肯定是在交流饭醉经验……若是几千个常年说谎的老家伙们聚在一起开荟,那一定是想编造一个天大的谎言。

@hu_jia: The Communist Party’s “Politics and Law Commission” has been turned into the State Security Committee. This is the only bit of news from the 18th Third Plenum that corresponds with democracy and rule of law. What a bad bit of news.

中共的“政法委”变身国家安全委员会。这是十八届三中全会唯一和民主法治相对应的消息,一个很坏的消息。

@uGalaxy: [poetry] The spring breeze of reform blows throughout the land, the Party’s policies are truly grand; four trillion for our combined efforts, the financial crisis is nothing to us. Thank you.

改革春风吹满地,党的政策真给力;齐心合力四万亿,金融危机没咋地。谢谢

@ivanzhai: The Shanghai Stock Exchange fell by exactly 1.83%—in tribute to the General Assembly.

沪指精准的下跌了1.83%,向大会献礼。

@吴祚来: Mr. Guoguang said it right: They won’t let you play politics, but they will use politics to play you.

国光先生在那儿侃:他们不让你搞政治,但他们却拿政治搞你。

@hnjhj: The combination of the National Security Committee and the Reform Leadership Group is very clever. One manufactures illusions and the other deters [opposition]—ensuring that you will forever be drifting through the Chinese Dream.

国家安全委员会和改革领导小组的搭配相当狡猾。一个制造幻觉,一个给予威慑,以确保你永远畅游在中国梦里。

@CenoredWeibo: Three days of meetings in Beijing, and not a drop of leaked information. Not even a little bit of action. On the other side of the [Taiwan] Strait, the KMT also held their 19th Congress. The area outside their meeting place bustled with activity. A thousand shoes were thrown. Delegates had only 20 yuan boxed meals to eat. There were no banquets, no Maotai, no Wuniangye. As one Internet user sarcastically said, “No wonder why they lost the Mainland!”

北京开了三天会,滴水不漏,一点动静都没透露出来。海峡对岸的国民党也开19大,会场外乱乱哄哄,被扔了1000只鞋,每个代表仅吃20元的盒饭。没有大餐、没有茅台五粮液,有网友调侃:难怪他们丢了大陆的江山!

@Coley测试版: I have a feeling that in the future the right and the left factions of the ruling elite will split into the National Security Committee and the Central Reform Leading Group. And then, hmm… I’m just talking nonsense. At any rate, for the time being, the creation of these two new bodies is welcomed by those on both the right and the left. Both are busy with the same China, yet each has its own way [to govern].

有一种预感,以后统治集团的左与右势力会分别靠向国家安全委员会和中央改革领导小组,然后,嗯……我瞎说的。反正,至少目前这两个新组织一抛出,左右都很开心,正忙着一个中国,各自表述。

@张鸣: We’ve been dealing with the same problem for 100 years: Should we be striving to protect the interests of China or the interests of the Empire of the Great Qing? If we only worry about protecting the Qing, then we will we never be able to enact reforms aimed at protecting the interests of China in general So long as the economy remains based on public ownership, there’s no way a market-based economy can be established. This kind of market is bound to be distorted.

折腾了一百年,纠结的还是一个问题,保中国还是保大清。担心大清不保,那么以保中国为目的的改革,也就搞不下去了。只要公有制经济还是主体,就不可能有什么市场的主体地位,市场只能成为权贵的捞钱机器,这样的市场,注定是扭曲的。[Source]

See also cartoonist Badiucao’s drawing of his imagined new logo for the state security committee.