Tencent's Weixin Censors 1980's People's Daily Article on Cult of Personality

On September 3, 2023, an article titled "People's Daily: Exaggerating the Personal Role of Leaders to an Extreme Level will Lead to Superstitious Belief in the Individual" (人民日报:把领袖个人的作用夸大到极端的程度,就会出现对个人的迷信) was posted on the "The Reading Drawer" (抽屉读书) public Weixin account. It was censored within 24 hours and replaced with a notice saying: "This content cannot be viewed due to violations. Complaints were made by users and audited by the platform. This involves the use of words, pictures, videos, etc. that exaggerated, seduced and violated objective facts to maliciously incite, confuse and mislead users. Check the corresponding rules." Original URL: Archives: I checked, and the Weixin article is a word-for-word copy paste of the referenced People's Daily article, which was published on Page 2 of the July 4, 1980 edition, accordin

Science with PRC Characteristics: CAS Academics Must "Toe Party Line"

 On September 6, 2023, the state sponsored media outlet Caixin published an article titled "China’s Top Academics Told to Toe Party Line With Public Statements." Some excerpts: China’s top science academy has updated its code of conduct with new rules that require members ensure their public statements are “in line with the general policy of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China” and prohibit openly expressing academic views unrelated to their field of expertise. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) code of conduct, which consists of 33 articles in six chapters, is an update of a version released nine years ago. . . . . Compared to the 2014 version, the latest code adds a chapter that specifies what CAS scientists are prohibited from doing. Specifically, the new version the Chinese Academy of Sciences Code of Conduct (中国科学院院士行为规范(试行)) con

Academics Criticise Proposed Public Security Administrative Punishments Law Revisions

 As noted previously on this blog, in early Septmber 2023, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress solicited public comment on proposed revisions to the Public Security Administrative Punishments Law through September 30, 2023. One of the most drastic proposals was the addition of a new Article 34: Anyone who commits any of the following acts shall be detained for not less than five days but not more than ten days, or fined not less than 1,000 yuan but not more than 3,000 yuan; if the circumstances are relatively serious, they shall be detained for not less than ten days but not more than fifteen days, and may also be fined not more than 5,000 yuan: (1) Engaging in activities in public venues that damage the environment and atmosphere of commemorating heroes and martyrs; (2) Wearing or adorning, or forcing others to wear or adorn, clothing or symbols in public venues that are detrimental to the spirit of the Chinese nation or hurt the feelings of the Chinese nation; (

Proposed Revisions to the Public Security Administrative Punishments Law and Their Impact on Freedom of Speech

Based on my research in compiling "State Prosecutions of Speech in the People's Republic of China" ( ), three of the six offenses commonly employed by the PRC government to prosecute speech appear in the Public Security Administrative Punishments Law ( 治安管理处罚法 ) . They are: Article 25 (Disrupting Public Order by Disseminating Rumors) . Example: In 2015, a court held the police did not violate Zhang Guanghong's rights when they jailed him for seven days and confiscated his computer on the grounds that he "used his own Sina Weibo to spread rumors and posts about the 'Five Heroes of Wolf Tooth Mountain' and distorted the image of those revolutionary martyrs." See "State Prosecutions," pp. 540-546. Article 26 (Other Acts Disturbing the Peace) . Example: In 2018, court found that police did not violate Feng Zhouguan's rights by subjecting him to five days administrative detention for referring to Xi Jinpin

Supreme People's Court Finds Problems With Application of the Crime of "Disturbing the Peace"

This blog has documented several examples of legal professionals, academics, and officials, calling for the PRC government to address problems with the application of the crime of disturbing the peace  (寻衅滋事, also commonly literally translated as "picking quarrels and provoking troubles." For more on why I have chosen to translate this as "disturbing the peace," see "State Prosecutions of Speech in the People's Republic of China: Cases Illustrating the Application of National Security and Public Order Laws to Political and Religious Expression, pp. 21-22, ). For example: In 2023, lawyers at the PRC law firm Shandong Xiaolin Law Firm delivered a petition to the PRC National People's Congress titled "Legislative Proposal on Abolishing the Crime of Disturbing the Peace." I translated their petition here: Translation: Law Firm's Petition to Abolish Offense Used to Prosecute Pure Speech Crimes . In 202

Translation: Law Firm's Petition to Abolish Offense Used to Prosecute Pure Speech Crimes

 On August 6, 2023, this document was posted on Twitter. The document was titled "Legislative Proposal on Abolishing the Crime of Disturbing the Peace," and the image of the envelope posted along with it indicated it was sent by Yu Zhaoyan of the Shandong Xiaolin Law Firm to the "Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress Standing Committee." The NPC is the only governmental body with the power to interpret the Constitution and supervise its enforcement. PRC courts do not have the power either to apply constitutional provisions in the absence of concrete implementing legislation or to strike down laws or regulations that are inconsistent with the Constitution. Therefore, anyone who believes that courts are applying laws in a manner that violates the Constitution have no recourse other than to petition the NPC, as the Xiaolin Law Firm has done here. The crime of disturbing the peace (寻衅滋事, also commonly literally translated as "pickin

Translation: Ding Jiaxi 2021 Subversion Indictment

  Translator' Notes: The Chinese text was generated by OCR'ing low-quality images of the original court judgment posted online. I have attempted to identify and correct the typographical errors that may have been introduced in the OCR process.  Ding Jiaxi is a former civil rights lawyer who, along with fellow civil rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong (who was also prosecuted in this case), co-founded the New Citizens' Movement (中国新公民运动). They would both eventually be found guilty and imprisoned for 12 and 14 years, respectively. As far as I know the PRC government has not made court judgment public. These screenshots show that, at some time after Ding's arrest, PRC search engine Baidu began censoring search results for his name, restricting results to a white list of websites under the direct control of the central government and Communist Party. According to Ding Jiaxi's spouse Luo Shengchun , the PRC government refused to provide his family a copy of the judgment (see ht