The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has introduced a new set of rules that detail what Party members can say in public. State media called the restrictions an attempt at “boosting democracy” in the Party, an Orwellian propaganda play. The new rules lay down the guidelines to follow when handling internal complaints.
If a Party member were to make any work-related error, it would be treated as a “discipline violation” under the old rules. Under the new guidelines, if Party members can prove that their leaders are incompetent, they can petition for the superior to be fired.
There is, however, one major restriction: The guidelines clearly mention that all dissenting views of Party members should only be expressed within the Party, never in public.
Article 16 of the new rules warns that Party members must not publicly contradict the decisions made by the central leadership. Article 11 states that any misconduct on the part of a superior must only be reported internally and not publicly, including online.
“On the one hand it is trying to emphasize the protection of rights of party members. But, on the other hand, there’s an important line drawn to differentiate [what’s considered] inside and outside the party,” Zhu Lijia, a professor with the state-run Chinese Academy of Governance, told South China Morning Post.
The new rules come during a period of outrage against the communist government for suppressing news about the CCP virus outbreak this past year. Several doctors who had exposed the truth of the virus’s spread have been detained.
Zhang Zhan, a citizen journalist who reported the outbreak from Wuhan, was sentenced to four years in prison. Tang Yiming, a professor from Wuhan, said that if every Chinese citizen could have voiced their opinions freely, the viral outbreak would not have been so severe. Even now, tight control over pandemic information is being maintained. In an interview with The Epoch Times, a resident from Benxi City revealed that they were unable to post any CCP virus-related content on WeChat.
In that country, Democracy doesn’t exist
In December, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) released its yearly report on press freedom. Communist China had the world’s least amount of freedom of the press.
“In China, many of the 47 prisoners are serving long sentences or are jailed in the Xinjiang region without any charge disclosed. But as the coronavirus ravaged the city of Wuhan in Hubei province early this year, authorities arrested several journalists for coverage that threatened the official narrative of Beijing’s response… Also in China, diplomatic spats appeared to put foreign media in increased peril in a year where more than a dozen journalists working for US publications on the mainland were expelled,” the report stated.
The CPJ report stated that Chinese authorities did everything they could to block journalists from investigating the CCP virus. They never gave a clear reason for the censorship.
The recently published Freedom of the Net 2020 report also ranked China as the world’s worst abuser of Internet freedom. This is the sixth consecutive year that China has ranked as the worst in the world. The country only scored 10 out of 100 in the analysis. The report also explained how the Chinese regime uses high-tech tools to strengthen its censorship of any news related to the CCP virus.