[A bookstore in Hangzhou displayed] the novel 'Changing of the Guard' [...] next to the 2023 edition of 'Study Outline for Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,' a juxtaposition that some read as an implicit call for Xi to step down."

— A recent CDT photo essay illustrates how placing Xi’s works next to other books in library or bookstore displays to make a political point has become a relatively common, low-key mode of political dissent in China.

 

CDT Highlights

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Quote of the Day: “Collecting 30-Year-Old Tax Debts, and Issuing 50-Year Bonds”

As Chinese local governments struggle with high levels of debt, moribund infrastructure projects, falling tax revenues, shrinking land-use fees, and increased demands for local welfare spending, some local government departments and state-owned enterprises have been exploring creative ways to replenish their depleted coffers. In April, after thousands of public complaints, public utilities in Chongqing and Chengdu, Sichuan province, were investigated and penalized for vastly overcharging residential customers for natural gas after the installation of new “smart” gas meters. That same month,...

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Rights Advocates Huang Xueqin and Wang Jianbing Sentenced to Prison After Nearly 1,000 Days in Detention

Journalist and feminist activist Huang Xueqin and labor-rights activist Wang Jianbing were convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to prison for five years and three and a half years, respectively, by the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court on Friday. The sentencing was widely condemned by international rights groups who decried what they saw as a particularly harsh punishment for exercising freedom of speech and supporting victims of patriarchal and capitalist abuse. Helen Davidson at The Guardian reported on the outcome of Huang and Wang’s trial: On Friday,...

Hundreds of Xinjiang Villages Renamed in Latest Attempt to Erase Uyghur History and Culture

Chinese authorities are continuing their efforts to Sinicize religious and ethnic minorities. Religious practices during Ramadan were stifled and censored this year, and many mosques across China have been stripped of their Arabic features. At the heart of this campaign is Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic groups remain in detention or subject to forced labor. This week, Human Rights Watch published an investigation showing that hundreds of Xinjiang villages have been renamed, in an apparent attempt by the Chinese state to further erase Uyghur...

Quote of the Day: “Collecting 30-Year-Old Tax Debts, and Issuing 50-Year Bonds”

As Chinese local governments struggle with high levels of debt, moribund infrastructure projects, falling tax revenues, shrinking land-use fees, and increased demands for local welfare spending, some local government departments and state-owned enterprises have been exploring creative ways to replenish their depleted coffers. In April, after thousands of public complaints, public utilities in Chongqing and Chengdu, Sichuan province, were investigated and penalized for vastly overcharging residential customers for natural gas after the installation of new “smart” gas meters. That same month,...

Hundreds of Xinjiang Villages Renamed in Latest Attempt to Erase Uyghur History and Culture

Chinese authorities are continuing their efforts to Sinicize religious and ethnic minorities. Religious practices during Ramadan were stifled and censored this year, and many mosques across China have been stripped of their Arabic features. At the heart of this campaign is Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic groups remain in detention or subject to forced labor. This week, Human Rights Watch published an investigation showing that hundreds of Xinjiang villages have been renamed, in an apparent attempt by the Chinese state to further erase Uyghur...

New “June Fourth” Sensitive Words Reference PLA Medals and Hong Kong Musicians

In China, the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre was met with all-out digital censorship that quashed overt online mourning. In Hong Kong, efforts to publicly commemorate “June Fourth” were ruthlessly suppressed by police. Globally, across 18 cities spanning four continents, thousands gathered in remembrance. Those within China seeking to share their memories of the spring and summer of 1989 were forced to publish their recollections in foreign outlets, a selection of which CDT archived and translated. The dominant theme on the mainland, however, was censorship. CDT Chinese has...

Translation: Special One-Month Reconnaissance Operation Against “Overseas Cyber Forces”

A pair of recently surfaced screenshots appear to offer unusual detail about a special month-long operation, held in Beijing and involving over 40 Ministry of Public Security computer specialists from around the country, to combat “overseas cyber forces” in the battle for public opinion. The apparently leaked internal instructions from the Ministry of Public Security are likely to be the result of an email breach. They include the names and locations of many of the computer-specialist officers, as well as the name and contact information of the individual in charge of the operation. At some...

New eBook: China Digital Times Lexicon, 20th Anniversary Edition

On September 12, 2003, John Battelle published the first post on chinadigitaltimes.net: Here’s what a Google Search on “china weblog” yields, I’m looking forward to seeing ours at the top soon! China’s online population at the start of that year was nearly 60 million. Ten years later, it was fast approaching 600 million, and now, after 20, it is well over a billion. This new completely revised and hugely expanded update to our ebook series, formerly known as “the Grass Mud Horse Lexicon,” aims to capture something of the enormous explosion of online speech that accompanied this growth, with...

Quote of the Day: “Collecting 30-Year-Old Tax Debts, and Issuing 50-Year Bonds”

As Chinese local governments struggle with high levels of debt, moribund infrastructure projects, falling tax revenues, shrinking land-use fees, and increased demands for local welfare spending, some local government departments and state-owned enterprises have been exploring creative ways to replenish their depleted coffers. In April, after thousands of public complaints, public utilities in Chongqing and Chengdu, Sichuan province, were investigated and penalized for vastly overcharging residential customers for natural gas after the installation of new “smart” gas meters. That same month,...

Hundreds of Xinjiang Villages Renamed in Latest Attempt to Erase Uyghur History and Culture

Chinese authorities are continuing their efforts to Sinicize religious and ethnic minorities. Religious practices during Ramadan were stifled and censored this year, and many mosques across China have been stripped of their Arabic features. At the heart of this campaign is Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic groups remain in detention or subject to forced labor. This week, Human Rights Watch published an investigation showing that hundreds of Xinjiang villages have been renamed, in an apparent attempt by the Chinese state to further erase Uyghur...

Jiang Zemin’s Son Jiang Mianheng’s Retirement Announcement Seen by Some as Implicit Criticism of Xi’s Extended Grip on Power

In a letter dated May 31 and posted online on June 6, Jiang Mianheng—son of the late Chinese President, CCP General Secretary, and Central Military Commission Chairman Jiang Zemin—announced that at the age of 73, after “serving two full terms” as founding president of Shanghai Tech University (STU), he was stepping down to make way for “a younger generation of capable leaders.” The letter goes on to introduce Jiang’s successor, physicist and Stanford graduate Feng Donglai; lists some of the achievements of the university over the past 11 years; and thanks faculty, staff, students, and...

Quote of the Day: “Collecting 30-Year-Old Tax Debts, and Issuing 50-Year Bonds”

As Chinese local governments struggle with high levels of debt, moribund infrastructure projects, falling tax revenues, shrinking land-use fees, and increased demands for local welfare spending, some local government departments and state-owned enterprises have been exploring creative ways to replenish their depleted coffers. In April, after thousands of public complaints, public utilities in Chongqing and Chengdu, Sichuan province, were investigated and penalized for vastly overcharging residential customers for natural gas after the installation of new “smart” gas meters. That same month,...

Quote of the Day: Official Disposable Income Figures Derided as “Today’s Daily Dose of Humor”

On March 16, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that the Chinese economy was off to a good start in 2024, with reported 5.3% year-on-year GDP growth in the first quarter of the year. The better-than-expected data was touted by various Chinese state media outlets online, although many of those news posts had comment filtering enabled, perhaps in anticipation of negative or skeptical reactions from social media users. Two items in particular seemed to strike netizens as overly optimistic: the reported “nationwide average per-capita disposable income” figure of 11,539 yuan...

Human Rights

Latest

Hundreds of Xinjiang Villages Renamed in Latest Attempt to Erase Uyghur History and Culture

Chinese authorities are continuing their efforts to Sinicize religious and ethnic minorities. Religious practices during Ramadan were stifled and censored this year, and many mosques across China have been stripped of their Arabic features. At the heart of this campaign is Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic groups remain in detention or subject to forced labor. This week, Human Rights Watch published an investigation showing that hundreds of Xinjiang villages have been renamed, in an apparent attempt by the Chinese state to further erase Uyghur...