Zhang Jieping: When Fear Comes, the First Thing to Retreat is Speech

Zhang Jieping is the founder and CEO of Matters Lab, a decentralized content platform. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Initium Media and Executive Editor-in-Chief for iSun Affairs. Following the implementation of the new national security law in Hong Kong, she posted the following message on her Facebook account. When fear comes, the first thing to retreat is speech. I saw a similar retreat in 2019. It happened on the social media feeds of countless Chinese people who were sympathetic to Hong Kong. Perhaps they had done something as minor as posting a photo of a peaceful protest on...

Nothing is the end of Hong Kong...[But] this is the end of a Hong Kong of free speech and the end of a Hong Kong of due process of law.

- Legal scholar Jerome Cohen

CDT Highlights

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Minitrue: Delete Content on Newsweek Issue

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source. All websites, find and delete reports, articles, and comments related to the latest edition of the U.S. magazine Newsweek. (June 15, 2020) [Source] The directive may refer to Newsweek’s June 26 issue, which featured a cover story by David Brennan on the erosion of Hong Kong’s freedom and autonomy. (The dates by which each issue is identified lag well behind actual physical distribution...

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India Bans Chinese Apps Amid Privacy Concerns, Border Tensions

On Monday, Indian authorities announced a ban on dozens of Chinese apps including WeChat, Weibo, and TikTok. The official statement on the ban cited national security and consumer privacy, reflecting a broader global trend of wariness toward Chinese tech exports as possible vectors for influence or espionage. The backdrop also includes deadly clashes between the two countries’ soldiers in disputed border territories, with political tension and public fury in their wake. From the statement: The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information...

Zhang Jieping: When Fear Comes, the First Thing to Retreat is Speech

Zhang Jieping is the founder and CEO of Matters Lab, a decentralized content platform. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Initium Media and Executive Editor-in-Chief for iSun Affairs. Following the implementation of the new national security law in Hong Kong, she posted the following message on her Facebook account. When fear comes, the first thing to retreat is speech. I saw a similar retreat in 2019. It happened on the social media feeds of countless Chinese people who were sympathetic to Hong Kong. Perhaps they had done something as minor as posting a photo of a peaceful protest on...

Zhang Jieping: When Fear Comes, the First Thing to Retreat is Speech

Zhang Jieping is the founder and CEO of Matters Lab, a decentralized content platform. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Initium Media and Executive Editor-in-Chief for iSun Affairs. Following the implementation of the new national security law in Hong Kong, she posted the following message on her Facebook account. When fear comes, the first thing to retreat is speech. I saw a similar retreat in 2019. It happened on the social media feeds of countless Chinese people who were sympathetic to Hong Kong. Perhaps they had done something as minor as posting a photo of a peaceful protest on...

Zhang Jieping: When Fear Comes, the First Thing to Retreat is Speech

Zhang Jieping is the founder and CEO of Matters Lab, a decentralized content platform. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Initium Media and Executive Editor-in-Chief for iSun Affairs. Following the implementation of the new national security law in Hong Kong, she posted the following message on her Facebook account. When fear comes, the first thing to retreat is speech. I saw a similar retreat in 2019. It happened on the social media feeds of countless Chinese people who were sympathetic to Hong Kong. Perhaps they had done something as minor as posting a photo of a peaceful protest on...

Zhang Jieping: When Fear Comes, the First Thing to Retreat is Speech

Zhang Jieping is the founder and CEO of Matters Lab, a decentralized content platform. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Initium Media and Executive Editor-in-Chief for iSun Affairs. Following the implementation of the new national security law in Hong Kong, she posted the following message on her Facebook account. When fear comes, the first thing to retreat is speech. I saw a similar retreat in 2019. It happened on the social media feeds of countless Chinese people who were sympathetic to Hong Kong. Perhaps they had done something as minor as posting a photo of a peaceful protest on...

India Bans Chinese Apps Amid Privacy Concerns, Border Tensions

On Monday, Indian authorities announced a ban on dozens of Chinese apps including WeChat, Weibo, and TikTok. The official statement on the ban cited national security and consumer privacy, reflecting a broader global trend of wariness toward Chinese tech exports as possible vectors for influence or espionage. The backdrop also includes deadly clashes between the two countries’ soldiers in disputed border territories, with political tension and public fury in their wake. From the statement: The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information...

Q&A: Leta Hong Fincher on China’s Resilient Feminists

A former journalist, Leta Hong Fincher was the first American to receive a PhD in Sociology from Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her research there led to her first book, “Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China,” which examined rising gender inequalities in China today through the lens of economics, marriage, and the real estate market. Her widely acclaimed second book, “Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China,” examines the rise of a new feminist movement in China and profiles several of the key participants, including the...

India Bans Chinese Apps Amid Privacy Concerns, Border Tensions

On Monday, Indian authorities announced a ban on dozens of Chinese apps including WeChat, Weibo, and TikTok. The official statement on the ban cited national security and consumer privacy, reflecting a broader global trend of wariness toward Chinese tech exports as possible vectors for influence or espionage. The backdrop also includes deadly clashes between the two countries’ soldiers in disputed border territories, with political tension and public fury in their wake. From the statement: The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information...

Zhang Jieping: When Fear Comes, the First Thing to Retreat is Speech

Zhang Jieping is the founder and CEO of Matters Lab, a decentralized content platform. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Initium Media and Executive Editor-in-Chief for iSun Affairs. Following the implementation of the new national security law in Hong Kong, she posted the following message on her Facebook account. When fear comes, the first thing to retreat is speech. I saw a similar retreat in 2019. It happened on the social media feeds of countless Chinese people who were sympathetic to Hong Kong. Perhaps they had done something as minor as posting a photo of a peaceful protest on...

India Bans Chinese Apps Amid Privacy Concerns, Border Tensions

On Monday, Indian authorities announced a ban on dozens of Chinese apps including WeChat, Weibo, and TikTok. The official statement on the ban cited national security and consumer privacy, reflecting a broader global trend of wariness toward Chinese tech exports as possible vectors for influence or espionage. The backdrop also includes deadly clashes between the two countries’ soldiers in disputed border territories, with political tension and public fury in their wake. From the statement: The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information...

First Arrests Made Under National Security Law as Hong Kong Protesters Defy Government Ban

Authorities in Hong Kong moved quickly to implement the new national security law, which went into effect at 11 pm Tuesday evening. As protesters defied a government ban on marches to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the return of the city to Chinese rule, police arrested close to 400 people, including 10 under the new law. Police also held aloft flags stating that any protest activity would be considered a violation of the law. The first arrest under the national security law was of a man holding a “Hong Kong Independence” sign. However, upon closer look, observers noticed...

Minitrue: Walk Back on “Street Vendor Economy”

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source. All previously posted content on the “street vendor economy” must be deleted. Please do not hype further. (June 5, 2020) [Chinese] At the recent National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang hailed the potential of resurgent street vending to address economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Bloomberg News reports on an apparent U-turn against this strategy: Following a surge...

Politics

Latest

Zhang Jieping: When Fear Comes, the First Thing to Retreat is Speech

Zhang Jieping is the founder and CEO of Matters Lab, a decentralized content platform. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Initium Media and Executive Editor-in-Chief for iSun Affairs. Following the implementation of the new national security law in Hong Kong, she posted the following message on her Facebook account. When fear comes, the first thing to retreat is speech. I saw a similar retreat in 2019. It happened on the social media feeds of countless Chinese people who were sympathetic to Hong Kong. Perhaps they had done something as minor as posting a photo of a peaceful protest on...

Human Rights

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Translation: Former Party Professor Calls CCP a “Political Zombie”

About 20 minutes of audio in which a retired Central Party School professor sternly criticizes the state of the Party under Xi Jinping, and declares the current system beyond repair, circulated widely online earlier this month. The recording is from an address given by Cai Xia, a legal scholar and longtime internal Party advocate for rights and the rule of law, to a private group online. [Update: CDT has learned that this address was given in mid-May.] Cai is currently outside China. CDT has determined the recording to be authentic. The speech has been translated in full by CDT. Without...

Society

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Hong Kongers Hold Tiananmen Vigil, Defying Police Ban

On Thursday, around 10,000 Hong Kongers defied a police letter of objection blocking the traditional public vigil for the June 4 crackdown. Others held public or private commemorations elsewhere. The effective ban came ahead of planned national security legislation seen as a lethal threat to the territory’s treasured autonomy from mainland China, which many fear would criminalize future commemorations. Thursday also brought the passage of another law against irreverence for the Chinese national anthem. From Natasha Khan at The Wall Street Journal: Thousands flooded into Victoria Park,...

China & the World

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Beijing Finds Propaganda Opportunity in Widespread U.S. Unrest

As protests against police violence and inequality sweep an increasingly divided U.S. following the police killing of yet another unarmed black American on May 25, Chinese authorities and state media are taking full advantage of the situation to make propaganda hay. Coming as diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing are highly strained on many issues, Beijing is seizing the American unrest as another opportunity to present its system as superior to Western liberal democracy. Since it began last summer amid already strained Sino-U.S. relations, U.S. officials have been voicing...

Law

Latest

First Arrests Made Under National Security Law as Hong Kong Protesters Defy Government Ban

Authorities in Hong Kong moved quickly to implement the new national security law, which went into effect at 11 pm Tuesday evening. As protesters defied a government ban on marches to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the return of the city to Chinese rule, police arrested close to 400 people, including 10 under the new law. Police also held aloft flags stating that any protest activity would be considered a violation of the law. The first arrest under the national security law was of a man holding a “Hong Kong Independence” sign. However, upon closer look, observers noticed...

Information Revolution

Latest

From Narrative Consent to Narrative Warfare: China’s COVID-19 Messaging

From Narrative Consent to Narrative Warfare: China’s COVID-19 Messaging By Lukas Mejia and Marine Ragnet An official press release by the Chinese embassy in France recently stated that Chinese methods for containing the COVID-19 pandemic in the mainland were seen by French health officials as an “interesting source of inspiration.” “It was the ‘dictatorship’ from which the world first sought help, and not the American flagship of democracy,” the release further read. This language predicates a narrative war currently being waged at the forefront of the epidemic and attempts...

Culture & the Arts

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CDT Censorship Digest, May 2020: Say “No” to Totalitarian Absurdity

In 2020, CDT Chinese editors launched the CDT Censorship Digest series. The series will collect and quote from news and online speech that was censored by Chinese authorities during the previous month, as well as summarize efforts to preserve and strengthen freedom of speech in Chinese society. When relevant to CDT English readers, we will translate the Chinese series in part or in full. CDT has translated an excerpt from the full CDT Chinese digest for May, adapted to include links to English coverage when available: CDT Chinese | Chinese Censorship Digest, May 2020: Say “No” to...

The Great Divide

Latest

Minitrue: Walk Back on “Street Vendor Economy”

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source. All previously posted content on the “street vendor economy” must be deleted. Please do not hype further. (June 5, 2020) [Chinese] At the recent National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang hailed the potential of resurgent street vending to address economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Bloomberg News reports on an apparent U-turn against this strategy: Following a surge...

Sci-Tech

Latest

India Bans Chinese Apps Amid Privacy Concerns, Border Tensions

On Monday, Indian authorities announced a ban on dozens of Chinese apps including WeChat, Weibo, and TikTok. The official statement on the ban cited national security and consumer privacy, reflecting a broader global trend of wariness toward Chinese tech exports as possible vectors for influence or espionage. The backdrop also includes deadly clashes between the two countries’ soldiers in disputed border territories, with political tension and public fury in their wake. From the statement: The Ministry of Information Technology, invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information...

Environment

Latest

The Costs of the Belt and Road Initiative

Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative, a trillion dollar-plus global trade and development program that was unveiled in 2013 and enshrined into the Party constitution in 2017, has attracted both international excitement and concern. While Beijing touts the plan as a “win-win” for global trade and cooperative economic growth that will usher in a new era of globalization, the massively ambitious initiative has also raised a host of concerns over its aim to expand Beijing’s global military and political influence, country-specific security issues, and looming debt traps that could arise from...

Hong Kong

Latest

Zhang Jieping: When Fear Comes, the First Thing to Retreat is Speech

Zhang Jieping is the founder and CEO of Matters Lab, a decentralized content platform. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Initium Media and Executive Editor-in-Chief for iSun Affairs. Following the implementation of the new national security law in Hong Kong, she posted the following message on her Facebook account. When fear comes, the first thing to retreat is speech. I saw a similar retreat in 2019. It happened on the social media feeds of countless Chinese people who were sympathetic to Hong Kong. Perhaps they had done something as minor as posting a photo of a peaceful protest on...

Taiwan

Latest

Hong Kongers Hold Tiananmen Vigil, Defying Police Ban

On Thursday, around 10,000 Hong Kongers defied a police letter of objection blocking the traditional public vigil for the June 4 crackdown. Others held public or private commemorations elsewhere. The effective ban came ahead of planned national security legislation seen as a lethal threat to the territory’s treasured autonomy from mainland China, which many fear would criminalize future commemorations. Thursday also brought the passage of another law against irreverence for the Chinese national anthem. From Natasha Khan at The Wall Street Journal: Thousands flooded into Victoria Park,...

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