China Digital Space

National treasure

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国宝 (guóbǎo): national treasure

Panda Police (Artist: Hexie Farm 蟹农场)
Homonymous nickname for the Domestic Security Department (国保 Guó Bǎo), a branch of the police force within the Ministry of Public Security that handles political dissidents, human rights activists, petitioners, religious groups, and "subversive" activities.

DSD officials are more feared and reviled than the regular police, since they are not subject to the same oversight. They have been known to beat and illegally detain dissidents. Activist Hu Jia and artist Ai Weiwei have both been detained by the DSD before, while Liu Xia, wife of Nobel-prize winning democracy activist Liu Xiaobo, remains under their watchful eye as she endures illegal house arrest.

The panda, China's "national treasure," is often used as a symbol of the DSD. Because of this association, innocuous Weibo posts about pandas are sometimes deleted.


Zhengmin (@郑敏): Surely the Butcher is also a "new media representative." Is the technique for uniting these voices for fifty centers to interact with them offline, and the national treasure to visit them offline?
屠夫也算是“新媒体中的代表性人士”吧,团结这类人士的手段难道是“线上五毛互动,线下国宝往来”? [Chinese]
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