China’s Media Controls: Could Bloggers Make a Difference? – Dan Southerland

From the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief:

That the tightly controlled Chinese media even covered such a story came as much of a surprise, but Wu Ping’s emerged just as the National People’s Congress was passing a new property rights law that purports to protect individual homeowners. This may have been more of an exceptional case than a breakthrough for the Chinese media, given that tens of thousands of Chinese fall victim to government-backed land development schemes and receive little compensation. The lenient treatment of Wu Ping may have helped the government to make a propaganda point, namely that the government respects private property, at least in certain cases. Yet, the “nail house” case may also reveal that downtrodden individuals in China are becoming more willing to challenge the system through unconventional means. Some are still trying to keep the story alive and have found a similar case in Shenzhen, although it has not received the same attention that Wu Ping’s case received. [Full text]

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