Independent Candidates Busy Building Up Support

Global Voices looks at how the self-declared independent candidates for local elections in China are using social media to gain supporters:

The candidacy wave remains small, but is still a top discussion topic online.

More prominent participants in the movement such as media workers Li Chengpeng and Yao ‘Wuyue Sanren’ Bo have become less vocal about their individual campaigns (Yao recently quietly announced his resignation from the China Daily newspaper, ostensibly to work on his campaign) in recent weeks. One candidate who has moved more into the limelight has been Hangzhou-based post-80s advertising agency employee and locally-known commentator on the real estate market, Xu Yan. The focus on Xu seems driven largely by his civics lesson approach to campaign preparation.

In early July, Xu began weekly posting of videos [zh] online in which he discusses in detail issues that he plans to address, if elected, as well as educating on topics such as division of powers in the current system and the particular responsibilities which come with the role of district-level People’s Congress representative. As with most other independent candidates around China, Xu’s been busy on Weibo, organizing volunteers, constituent meet-ups and answering questions.

Read more about the independent candidacies via CDT.


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