Saturday, January 25, 2014

Global Times Says Ok to Advocate New Citizens' Movement, Constitutionalism, While Baidu Bans Forums on Those Topics

On January 23, 2014, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "Law Is No Threat to Citizen Movement" (依法审理许志永案,反对立场先行). Some excerpts:
Xu Zhiyong, a lawyer and main founder of the "New Citizens' Movement" in China, was charged with "gathering crowds to disrupt public order" and went on trial on Wednesday. Wang Gongquan, a well-known Chinese entrepreneur who had been detained but was out on bail yesterday, admitted he was also involved.
. . . .
Xu's effort to launch the "New Citizens' Movement" is not widely known to the Chinese public. Its influence can mainly be felt in academia and some groups of activists. Xu's advocacies, including constitutionalism, property disclosure of civil servants and education equality, can be expressed and are also echoed in Chinese society.

These advocacies are not incompatible with China's reforms. Xu, as well as other activists like him, will not likely be tried simply because they have these advocacies.

. . . .

These screenshots were taken on January 25, 2014, and show that Baidu had banned its users from establishing PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forums on "New Citizens' Movement," (新公民运动) "Constitutionalism," (宪政) and "Civil Servants" (官员).