Saturday, August 11, 2012

Three of the People's Daily's "Five New Black Elements" Censored by Sina Weibo

On July 31, 2012, the state sponsored People's Daily published an editorial entitled "The True Challenges for China are the Next 5-10 Years" (中国真正的挑战是未来5-10年). Some excerpts (translation by Scott Harold of RAND):
During this period, the US is likely to use non-military methods to envelop China or seek to perturb its rise, to win strategic gains, to bring about a revival of national power, and to ensure its hegemonic status. The main methods the US is likely to employ include: using RMB convertibility as an entry point, using the opening up of financial and insurance markets as a target, the Americans will try to fully enter into China’s services sector in order to reap huge economic and financial benefits by controlling the lifeblood of China’s development; with ‘Internet freedom’ as its slogan, they will attack ‘top down’ governance in order to push forward the traditional model of liberal democracy; through the use of ‘rights lawyers’, underground religion, dissidents, internet heroes, and disadvantaged social groups as the core forces, they will push for a ‘bottom-up’ approach to Chinese governance from the grassroots to lay a foundation for changing China . . . .
这一阶段,美将更多利用非军事手段滞缓或干扰中国崛起进程,获取战略实利,实现国力重振,确保霸权地位。其主要手法包括:以人民币汇率为突破口、以金融保险市场开放为阶段性目标,全面打入中国第三产业,以期在掌控中国发展命脉的同时牟取巨大经济金融利益;以“网络自由”为旗号,改变“自上而下”推进民主自由的传统模式,以维权律师、地下宗教、异见人士、网络领袖、弱势群体为核心,以期通过“自下而上”的方式渗透中国基层,为中国的“改变”创造条件 . . . 。
These screenshots, taken on August 3, show that Sina Weibo was completely censoring searches for "Rights lawyers" (维权律师) and "Dissidents," (异见人士) and was partially censoring search results for "Underground religion." (地下宗教)

The only search result for "Underground religion" is a the following post from Zhao Xiao (赵晓), a Chinese economist with over 360,000 followers. Zhao previously published a paper entitled "Market Economies With Churches and Market Economies Without Churches" (有教堂的市场经济与无教堂的市场经济).

Zhao's Weibo post said:
As the saying goes, flies will not sting eggs that have no cracks. Even if the West desired to use "rights lawyers, underground religion, dissidents, internet heroes, and disadvantaged social groups" as points of penetration to "change" China, then China need only resolve to aim for "rule of law, freedom of belief, political freedom, open speech, and social justice," implement reliable and effective reforms to society and government, and turn toward improving domestic systems and giving a new lease on life to society and the economy. If it does that, then what chance does the West have?