Saturday, January 23, 2016

Baidu Begins Censoring "Gui Minhai" - Hong Kong Bookseller Detained in China

On January 17, 2016, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “‘Missing’ HK Bookseller Turns Himself in to Mainland Police for Drunk Driving Killing of a College Girl in 2003”. Some excerpts:
One of the five missing Hong Kong booksellers has said that he returned to the Chinese mainland to turn himself in after 11 years on the run for killing a college student while driving drunk, the Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday.  

"Returning to the Chinese mainland and surrendering was my personal choice and had nothing to do with anyone else. I should shoulder my responsibility and I don't want any individual or institutions to interfere, or viciously hype up my return," Gui told Xinhua. He is currently being held in a detention center, the location of which was not mentioned.
. . . .
Mystery has been surrounding the whereabouts of Gui and 4 other booksellers. Previous reports said that Gui went missing while vacationing in Thailand in the middle of October 2015. He had sent an e-mail to his printers on October 15, asking his co-workers to get ready for a new book.
On January 19, 2016, the Hu Xijin, editor of the Global Times, published an editorial under his pen name “Shan Renping” (单仁平) entitled "Don’t Distort Publisher Case into Mainland-HK Dispute." Some excerpts:
A Xinhua News Agency investigative article on Sunday revealed the story behind Gui Minhai, one of five missing Hong Kong publishers. Gui, a China-born Swedish citizen, was involved in a fatal car accident when drunk driving, in which a female college student was killed. He was sentenced to a suspended two-year jail term, and then fled abroad. He confessed his crime to Chinese mainland authorities in October last year. He was shown on State broadcaster China Central Television on Sunday night.

His appearance soon sparked speculation that he was detained by mainland authorities because of a bookshop known for selling works that maliciously attack the mainland's political systems.

How could such a person as Gui, who was serving a suspended jail term, manage to stay in Hong Kong and conduct activities which do damage to Chinese society? After his confession, some Hongkongers intentionally exaggerated this case. But his wrongdoing, before the case was revealed,  had been intentionally ignored. Those Hongkongers deliberately pick up particular legal affairs.
. . . .
Some in the Hong Kong opposition believe that "one country, two systems" grants Hong Kong the right to confront the mainland and the central government, plus Hong Kong is the bastion of any extreme or illegal actions that would shake the mainland's political systems.

Hong Kong and the mainland should not confront each other. Anyone should not try to find a "legal space" in the Basic Law where the mainland and Hong Kong face off. The difference of judiciary systems in the two parts should not be highlighted and distorted as a crackdown on freedom in Hong Kong.
These screenshots show that on January 21, 2016, Baidu began censoring search results for two spellings of “Gui Minhai” (桂敏海 and 桂民海).

Friday, January 22, 2016

Huang An's Weibo Posts Disappear

As noted previously on this blog, on January 15, 2016, the singer Huang An (黃安) posted an announcement on his verified Sina Weibo account that Zhou Ziyu had apologized and "admitted that there is only one China." A translation of the post and additional background is available here.

On January 20, 2016, Hu Xijin, editor of the state sponsored Global Times, published an editorial using the pen name Shan Renping (单仁平) entitled “Teenage Singer’s Apology Manipulated by Forces Seeking Confrontation” (周子瑜“道歉”风波,大陆网民错几许). Some excerpts:
The fallout from Taiwan K-pop star Chou Tzu-yu's apology is still fermenting. The 16-year-old singer, who waved the Republic of China's flag on a South Korean TV show, was accused of being in favor of Taiwan independence by Huang An, a formerly well-known TV host from Taiwan. Chou's fans claimed online Chou was not a Chinese and that Taiwan was a country. These comments have triggered viral criticism from the Chinese mainland against Chou and her company, JYP Entertainment.
. . . .
Chou's scandal is essentially an entertainment matter - online public opinion giving a lesson to a singer who is regarded as having touched the political bottom line. Things would be over if Chou and her company took remedial actions. Yet, Chou's way of apology has become a political bomb. It is likely that JYP Entertainment or the apology was manipulated by politicians from the very beginning.
. . . .
Above all, mainlanders have not expressed sufficient patriotic feelings. China needs to accumulate more experience in playing the card of public opinion. For any nation, patriotism is a tool for social governance, which we should not be skeptical about.

. . . .
. . . .
These screenshots show that, days after Huang An published his Weibo post gloating over Zhou Ziyu's apology, all of his Weibo posts were gone.

Huang An's now-empty Weibo page is here -

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chinese Government Calls for "Measures to Ensure Global Cyberspace Governance Meshed with Chinese Opinions"

On December 30, 2015, China’s official news agency Xinhua published an article entitled “Xi Calls for Patriotism in Achieving Chinese Dream.” Some excerpts:
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for promoting patriotism to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
. . . .
Xi said the CPC is the steadiest advocate and practitioner of patriotism, calling for making patriotism as an eternal theme in education, in a bid to make it as the firm belief and spiritual prop of each Chinese individual and be carried on from generation to generation.

Advocating that patriotism must unify it with socialism, Xi said, adding that only by loving the country, the Party and socialism can patriotism be fresh and real.
The following day the state sponsored People’s Daily published an article on the front page of its Chinese language overseas print edition entitled “Face the World and Promote a Nationalist Spirit” (面向世界弘扬爱国主义精神) with the Chinese text of Xi's speech:
On January 7, 2016, China’s official news agency Xinhua published an article entitled “China Vows to Make Party's Voice Strongest in Cyberspace” (全国网络宣传工作会议:让党的主张成为网络空间最强音). Some excerpts:
China's Internet regulator vowed to make the views of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) the "strongest voice in cyberspace."

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) discussed cyberspace publicity work on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a statement issued after the talks promising continued exploration and improvements to the governance of cyberspace with Chinese socialist characteristics.

It was agreed that the CPC's theories and achievements would be the mainstream opinions and main tone of China's cyberspace, and the Internet would be utilized to garner public support on the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
. . . .
It also called for more work to be done to improve cyberspace governance, with measures to ensure global cyberspace governance meshed with Chinese opinions and plans.

. . . .
. . . .

Monday, January 18, 2016

During Taiwan Elections Sina Weibo Begins Censoring "Taiwan"

On January 16, 2016, the state sponsored China Daily published an editorial entitled “Tsai Should Prove Sincerity About Peace Across Taiwan Straits.” Some excerpts:
Now that the Democratic Progressive Party leader Tsai Ing-wen has won Taiwan's "presidential" election, she should waste no time to prove that she is sincere in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. She should work to make people in Taiwan feel safe, instead of creating anxieties with her ambiguous mainland policy.
. . . .
Many differences remain between the mainland and Taiwan, not only in lifestyle and social system, but also in how and when the two sides should be reunited. But under no circumstance should the differences be used as excuses to seek Taiwan independence, which means war, as the mainland's Anti-Secession Law suggests. The bottom line shall never be tested.

Any attempt to steer the island closer to independence will be a fool's errand.
On January 17, 2016, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Taiwanese Choose Tsai, Not Independence.” Some excerpts:
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Tsai Ing-wen won by a landslide in Taiwan’s “presidential” elections on Saturday, and the DPP she leads captured the majority of seats in the Legislative Yuan, with the Kuomintang once again becoming an opposition party.
. . . .
The vote is not a gauge of cross-Straits relations. The DPP’s victory doesn’t mean the majority of Taiwanese support Taiwan independence. Tsai and her party are aware of this, so in her victory speech, she was evasive about the current issues between Taiwan and the mainland, only scrupulously stating that she will be engaged in a “consistent, predictable and sustainable cross-Straits relations.”
. . . .
Tsai should keep in mind that if she revisits Chen’s dangerous path to cross the red line of cross-Straits relations, she will meet a dead end. We hope Tsai can lead the DPP out of the hallucinations of Taiwan independence, and contribute to the peaceful and common development between Taiwan and the mainland.
These screenshots show that on the day of the election, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for “Taiwan General Election” (台湾大选).

These screenshots show that on the evening of January 16, Sina Weibo was in fact censoring all searches containing the word “Taiwan.” The following day Sina Weibo was no longer completely censoring all search results for "Taiwan," but was instead moderating search results when users selected “View All Search Results” (查看全部搜索结果) - in this case only one result was being shown.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sina Weibo Starts Censoring Search Results for "Zhou Ziyu Apologizes"

Huang An's Sina Weibo post.
At 10:52 pm on January 15, 2016, the singer Huang An (黃安) posted the following on his verified Sina Weibo account:
Zhou Ziyu has finally come out and apologized! With her own mouth she admitted that there is only one China, that the two sides of the straights are of one body, and that in all ways she see herself as Chinese, and proud of it! How long have we awaited this day. Once again we've striven to bring a young child back to identify with the motherland. The people of the motherland have one again achieved a major milestone on the road of anti-Taiwan independence. Everyone reshare!

Link to Huang An's post:

Zhou (Chou Tzu-yu 周子瑜) is a 16 year-old member of JYP Entertainment's South Korean pop group TWICE.

The first screenshot below shows that, shortly after midnight on January 16, “Zhou Ziyu Apologizes” (周子瑜道歉) was Number 1 on Sina Weibo’s list of “Hot Topics.” The top search result was from the verified Sina Weibo account of the “Hunan University of Arts and Sciences” (湖南文理学院微博协会) and read:
JYP ultimately issued an apology along with Zhou Ziyu, but only because its share price was plummeting, but even then over the last few days they've been brazenly cursing Chinese people on the foreign Internet as Chinese pig! jyp's errors in guiding public opinion has lead the foreign Internet,, including Korean Internet users, to undertake all kinds of slanders and attacks, and the deviation from the facts has damaged our reputation! Zhou Ziyu deleted her apology from Twitter and reposted tweets cursing pigs! We're not going to accept this muted apology

JYP公司因股价大跌才发表道歉声明和周子瑜道歉视频,然而前几天他们在外网上公然骂中国人Chinese pig!jyp的错误舆论引导,导致外网上包括韩国网民对我们中国网民进行各种污蔑攻击,事实的偏差让我们名誉受损!周子瑜把推特上的道歉视频删了还转发了骂猪的帖子!小编表示这道歉我们不接受
That post was subsequently deleted.

The second and third screenshots below show that by 11:00 am on the morning of the 16th, Sina Weibo was telling users it couldn’t find any search results for “Zhou Ziyu Apologizes.” Then a few hours later the same search returned a censorship notice.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Baidu Encyclopedia Article on "Internet Sovereignty" Disappears

On December 16, 2015, the state sponsored China Daily published an article entitled “Internet Sovereignty Should be Respected: President.”  Some excerpts:
President Xi Jinping said the international community should respect the "Internet sovereignty" of individual countries and build a "multilateral, democratic, and transparent" global Internet governance system.

"Based on the principle of mutual respect and mutual trust, the international community should increase dialogues and cooperation, reform global Internet governance, and make the cyberspace a peaceful, secure and open place," Xi said at the opening ceremony of the 2nd World Internet Conference, in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province on Wednesday, Dec 16.

Xi went on to say that the global Internet governance reform needs to be based on a principle of Internet sovereignty. "We should respect the rights of individual countries in choosing their own Internet development path, Internet governance, and Internet policies and take part in cyberspace governance on an equal basis and not push cyberspace hegemony or interfere in other countries' internal affairs or engage in or support cyberspace activities that jeopardize the national security of others."

Officials said China has been the victim of a large number of cyber attacks from Internet servers based in some developed countries, such as the United States.
. . . .
Regarding the overall management of cyberspace, Xi said there needs to be a proper balance in "freedom" and "order", and that "freedom is the end of order and order the guarantee of freedom".

"We should respect the rights of netizens in exchanging ideas and expressions, but should also build good cyberspace order that accords with the law to benefit and protect the rights of the netizens."
On the following day an Internet user updated Baidu’s Encyclopedia (“Baike” 百科, a wikipedia-like product) to include an article on “Internet Sovereignty” (互联网主权) - a variation of the exact phrasing used by Xi Jinping at Wuzhen - "网路主权," which is more directly translated as "network sovereignty."

Practically all of the article’s content came from state run media and a “white paper” produced by the PRC government. There was, however, one exception: a section entitled “Leaping Over the Wall is a Kind of International Trafficking Crime” (翻“墙”是一种国际偷渡的犯罪行为). That section read:
If you have sovereignty, then you have a balkanized net. If you have a balkanized net, you have the world. The borders of the balkanized net must be defined by "walls." The 1970's "Declaration of Principles of International Law" set forth the content of the principles of sovereignty, the heart of which is the equality of each country's sovereignty. Seeing as everyone is equal, after China advocates for its own rights on the Internet, then the United States of America shall also advocate for its rights, France and Germany, Japan and North Korea, all should have this opportunity. How does everyone divide up territory while maintaining peaceful coexistence? We know that territory can be demarcated using a Great Wall. The concept of the balkanized net discussed above, the balkanized net, may also be demarcated by the great "firewall." With a wall, the Internet has international borders, and everyone is like you don't bother me and I won't bother you, equal. Walls symbolize boundaries, and illegal behavior will be subject to international sanctions. In the future, Internet trafficking will also be attacked.

Anyone who has read this far should ask, if walls are built on the Internet, won't this mean that the country adopts a closed door policy, and the Celestial Empire will create an intranet?

This way of thinking is incorrect. It only tells half the story. The former half of that statement is wrong, the latter half of that statement is reasonable. The Internet will always be free, and information will will always be free, and creating a Internet nation is not for adopting a closed door policy, but rather for achieving information order.

People also ask, if we are not adopting a closed door policy, then why can't be accessed?

Google's inaccessibility is the result of their alienating themselves from China's Internet users. In an age when information spread unchecked and there was no sovereignty, they paid a grievous price. Now, when this kind of Internet Sovereignty is built up, and after  international Internet order is upheld, then you can access it.

How to access it? Very simple. As a Netizen, you must carry a residential identification card, and in accord with processes for citizens going abroad, fully prepare all kinds of evidentiary materials, and first go to the "Online Embassy" and file an application, which the Online Embassy will submit to Google, and after you have received Google's approval you will be able to sign on. Ha Ha. Of course, you can't have any criminal record, and if your file shows any record of hacking, the likelihood that you will be refused will be relatively high.

These screenshots show that the article was deleted within hours (even though Baidu continued to show it in search results for some time).

An article entitled "Network Sovereignty" (网路主权) remained available. That article did not contain the aforementioned language, and de-emphasized the idea that the concept was exclusively an invention of leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

On December 17, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “No Internet Hegemony: Xi.” Some excerpts:
Huang Rihan, a research fellow with the Maritime Silk Road Institute at Huaqiao University in Fujian Province, told the Global Times that it is necessary for China to propose a new model of Internet governance as it grows to become a "strong Internet power" and it is also part of its responsibilities as a major world power to offer new ideas in governance.

There are now two major Internet governance models, one represented by the US, which advocates so-called open and free principles, the other represented by China, which insists on cyber sovereignty, Huang said.

"China's experience is based on regulation of cyberspace activities within the rule of law," said Huang. "China insists that the security and freedom of cyberspace can only be guaranteed when order is maintained."

"We should respect Internet users' rights to exchange their ideas and express their minds, and we should also build good order in cyberspace in accordance with the law as it will help protect the legitimate rights and interests of all Internet users," Xi said Wednesday, stressing that cyberspace is not "a place beyond the rule of law."

Shen Yi, an associate professor of international studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said that cyberspace does not need hegemony or a hegemonic country, but it is in need of a system of order or regulation, which will further support Internet development and bring benefits.

"Whether some Westerners recognize it or not, China has been exploring its own path of Internet governance, which meets the demands of the development of its Internet in a market economy," Shen told the Global Times.

Such a path has enabled domestic Internet companies to grow strong, and in the meantime, international Internet giants are also eager to get a share of the Chinese market, he noted.

The more the US emphasizes its concept of "Internet freedom" and tries to bind its national interest with the Internet, said Shen, the more other countries may be forced to adopt regulations on the Internet to protect their own interests. "The Internet should become a real public sphere instead of a tool of the US," he said.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Baidu and Sina Censor References to "King Zhao" and "The Zhao Family"

On December 30, 2015, the state sponsored The Paper published an article entitled “Army Paper Provides Detailed Explanation of Xi Jinping’s Keyboard that Posted the Weibo: A Custom R&D Platform That Can Post Using a Mouse and Keyboard” (军报详解习近平键盘发微博:自主研发平台,鼠标回车键都可发).  That article cited a Weibo post on the People Liberation Army’s verified Sina Weibo account that showed what it claimed to be the computer Xi used, which had both a keyboard and mouse when Xi was not at the computer, but no mouse when Xi was at the computer.

 These screenshots show that December 30, 2015, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for “King Zhao’s Return” (赵王回车).

According to a response to the question “What is the meaning of the Current Event King Zhao’s Return?” (政治时事赵王回车是什么意思) posted on Baidu Knowledge (a Q&A product):
A few days ago the King of Zhao was on an inspection tour, and he pressed the return key, making a post on Weibo, and this became headlines in all the mainstream media.
If you can’t use the return key to post on Weibo, its because you are not a member of the family Zhao. 
 Both the question and the answer were subsequently deleted.

On December 21, 2015, a user named “yingwenlee” posted an article on Baidu’s Encyclopedia (Baike 百科) entitled “The Zhao Family” (赵家人). Some excerpts:
The original form of "Zhao Family" was Grandpa Zhao as penned by Lu Xun, symbolizing the upper classes, which in reality was a general reference to bureaucrats, the rich and powerfull, well-placed cadres and their families and children.
. . . .
Some Internet users have analyzed this saying that China's capitalist market is a four-tiered structure: households, bankers, tycoons, and the Zhao Family.
. . . .
Behind every tycoon there is a boss, and these ultimate bosses that are bigger than the tycoons are commonly referred to "members of the Zhao family."
. . . .
On December 19, 2015, an essay entitled "Distinctly Terrifying Thoughts on the Vanke Baoneng Dispute: Barbarians at the Gate, Family Zhao Behind the Curtain" received over 100,000+ hits, and turned the focus of conversation to the "members of the Zhao family."
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
These screenshots show that on the evening of January 4 a user named “huore520” deleted the section of the article discussing the Vanke/Baoneng article and removed all discussion of class, tycoons, and bosses. When huore520 was through editing, the article contained only references to the original Lu Xun text.

This screenshot was taken on January 4, and shows Baidu was censoring search results for “Zhao Family” (赵家人).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

State Media Supports Banning Canadian Beauty Queen for Criticizing China

On December 28, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Miss World Canada Must Accept Consequences of Political Action.” Some excerpts:
In November, Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin, a Chinese-born Canadian citizen, said she was denied a visa to come to China for the competition. Chinese immigration officials also stopped her boarding a flight from Hong Kong to Sanya, foiling her attempt to benefit from Hainan Province's special visa policy for Canadian nationals.

In a response to inquiries made by Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, the Chinese embassy in Canada declared that "China does not allow any persona non grata to come to China." Lin had earned the "unwelcome person" status before she claimed the title of Miss Canada, and it was for a reason.
. . . .
Several roles she played showed Falun Gong in a positive light, a group branded a dangerous cult by the Chinese government due to its brainwashing and the risk it poses to social stability.

Her advocacy for "human rights" based on her "sympathy" for Tibet and Xinjiang separatists aims to smear the Chinese authorities, regardless of the separatists' notoriety in Chinese society. In July, she testified at a US Congressional hearing, criticizing China's "persecution" of religious freedom.
. . . .
Every society should stick to certain principles. If Lin continues on her way, she should bear the costs. In most cases, political speculation is like walking on the edge of a cliff. It's only a delusion if she wants to be a double-dealer, tarnishing China's image to please the West, and while gaining popularity in the Chinese market.

Monday, January 11, 2016

State Media Supports Expulsion of French Journalist for Xinjiang Reporting

On November 23, 2015, the print edition of the state sponsored China Daily published an article entitled "Double Standard on Terrorism is Symptomatic of West's View." Some excerpts:
entitled “
On Nov 18, the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur (The New Observer) published an article on its website authored by staff writer Ursula Gauthier, which blamed the Chinese government's policies in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region for terrorist attacks in China.
. . . .
Gauthier's article claims that Muslim names are forbidden in Xinjiang and ethnic Uygur government staff must eat in public during Ramadan. However, Such claims are refuted by Uygurs as nothing but lies.

After the terrorist attack in Paris on Nov 13 that claimed at least 132 lives, the Chinese government condemned terrorism and expressed its sympathy for the French people. Many Chinese people also expressed their condolences to the victims. Guathier has noticed these because she includes them in her article, but she does not show any sympathy for the victims of the terrorist attacks in China.

It is shocking that she holds such deeply rooted prejudice against China. For her, it seems that every person should serve her politics.
. . . .
Being politically radical has so blinded some Western journalists such as Gauthier that they lose their common sense. They only know Western standards of "human rights". For that political purpose they dare to challenge the basic human norm that the killing of innocent civilians is a crime.

That hurts Chinese people. At a time when Chinese media and Chinese people had condemned the Paris attack and extended their support to the French people, it is offensive for the French magazine to publish such an article.

It is time the French media rethink such an ridiculous and unreasonable attitude. The Chinese people are friendly to the French people, who should have no reason to return evil for good. They should join hands in fighting terrorism.
On December 26, 2015, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang made the following statement during a press conference:
In her report dated November 18, Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing-based correspondent for L'Obs blatantly championed acts of terrorism and slaughter of innocent civilians, igniting indignation among the Chinese people. She did not make a serious apology to the Chinese public for her erroneous remarks, and is no longer suitable to continue working in China.

China protects the lawful rights and interests of permanent offices of foreign news agencies and foreign journalists on news coverage in China, but will never tolerate the act of speaking for terrorism.
The same day the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “L’Obs’ China Articles Biased, Unprofessional.” Some excerpts:
French news magazine L'Obs published an editorial on Tuesday saying its Beijing-based journalist Ursula Gauthier has been threatened.

It all started after Gauthier wrote an article in November in the wake of the Paris terror attacks. The article said the Chinese government had attempted to make use of Chinese people's sympathy toward the Paris victims for its own "ulterior motives," namely, to justify China's crackdown on violence in its western region of Xinjiang as a fight against terrorism.

The article slammed China's Xinjiang policies, claiming that the Uyghurs have been suffering from ruthless repression. She said that the recent deadly attacks by Uyghurs on a coal mine in Xinjiang were "probably in revenge for an abuse, an injustice or an expropriation."
. . . .
But what Gauthier has written in effect showed support to terrorism in Xinjiang. The international community has shown consensus  in the fight against terrorism. Gauthier must pay the price for her mistake in taking the wrong side of moral principle.

However, Gauthier and the magazine are not admitting their problems. They complained that she still has not received renewed press credentials from the Chinese government. She told the AFP that this is "a pretext to intimidate foreign correspondents in China, particularly on issues concerning minorities."

We do not know if this is a show of heroism or incredible shallowness. Reading Gauthier's articles, a professional journalist can easily find them full of emotional speculation and short of professionalism. Gauthier's reports do not seem to have come from a person who has been living in China for years. Ignorant of what is really taking place in China, she writes articles out of stubborn Western stereotypes.
On December 28 Lu Kang made the following statement during a press conference:
In her report dated November 18, Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing-based correspondent for L'Obs blatantly championed acts of terrorism and slaughter of innocent civilians, igniting indignation among the Chinese people. She did not make a serious apology to the Chinese public for her erroneous remarks, and is no longer suitable to continue working in China.

China protects the lawful rights and interests of permanent offices of foreign news agencies and foreign journalists on news coverage in China, but will never tolerate the act of speaking for terrorism.

Since this statement went public, I have noted that Ursula Gauthier tried to justify herself. I want to say that her arguments are futile as they evaded the nature of the issue and avoided the real question here. She claimed that relevant measures were a result of her criticism on China's ethnic policies. I think you are all clear that she has been working and living in China for 15 years. During these 15 years, she has been critical of China on many issues, yet she encountered no problem working in China. She also argued that China suppresses freedom of expression and thus would not allow her to work and report in China as a correspondent. I also want to remind her that among the 611 journalists from over 300 foreign news agencies, 610 of them have got their press credentials extended. Maybe she should have more self-examination.
On December 28, 2015, the Global Times published an article entitled “Survey Shows 95% Support French Reporter’s Expulsion.” Some excerpts:
Some 95 percent of people polled online supported the Chinese foreign ministry's decision to expel a French journalist for her comments on terrorism, a survey has shown.

The poll conducted by, a website affiliated with the Global Times Chinese edition, shows that as of 7 pm on Sunday, 198,210 votes were cast in favor of the decision to expel Ursula Gauthier, or 94.5 percent of the total. 11,607 voted against it.
On December 28, 2015 China’s official news agency Xinhua published an editorial entitled “Press Freedom No Excuse for Advocating Terrorism.” Some excerpts:
For French reporter Ursula Gauthier, her days in China are literately numbered: she will have to leave the country before the end of the year after refusing to apologize for a misleading report on China, which is saturated with sympathy for terrorists in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

In her article published on Nov. 18, only five days after the heinous Paris terror attacks that claimed more than 130 human lives, Gauthier questioned China's "ulterior motives" in expressing solidarity with France after the attacks.

The article ignored basic facts and described a recent bloody terror attack in Xinjiang as a revolt against alleged "ruthless government oppression."
. . . .
Whether Gauthier admits or not, her fact-distorting article equates to justifying terror attacks in Xinjiang, and that is something very welcomed by terror plotters inside China, and possibly in other parts of the world.

The article is as immoral as it it sensational: by falsely describing certain ethnic groups in Xinjiang as the oppressed, the article may also incite hatred and confrontation between different ethnic groups in China.

Gauthier may be too proud to retract her problematic report or to apologize, but it seems she is definitely glad to make her de facto expulsion from China as an affront to press freedom.

However, it is worth noting that even press freedom has its limits and citing press freedom as defense for a deeply biased and potentially dangerous report is not at all convincing.

There will be further restrictions for media when conducting terror-related reports, according to China's first anti-terror law promulgated Sunday.
On December 30, 2015, Lu Kang made the following statement during a press conference:
[I]f she had some serious introspection, she would take the initiative to apologize, instead of being asked to apologize.

Ursula Gauthier told the press that she received the so-called death threats. If I remember it correctly, this is not the first time she made such claims. The logic goes that if a person seriously believes that his or her life is threatened, the first response must be calling the police. The Chinese government has the responsibility of safeguarding lawful rights and interests of foreigners in China. But as far as I know, the Chinese police has yet to receive such an alarm. Ursula Gauthier should go to the police if she really believes she is threatened. Instead she is flaunting it in front of the press which is rather unusual, unless she is doing it for other purposes.
On January 4, 2015, the Global Times published an editorial entitled “Gauthier no Fighter for Speech Freedom.” Some excerpts:
As far as we know, many Western correspondents in Beijing considered Gauthier's articles unprofessional and questionable. Her being forced to leave has not attracted real sympathy. France and the EU made a mild response since it didn't make much sense to defend her.

The Chinese government's reasonable move has earned overwhelming support from the public. While some Western media outlets habitually show opposition, overall Western reaction has not been fierce. It's explicit that Gauthier and L'Obs are losers.
. . . .
If Chinese journalists blamed the French government for the terror attacks in Paris, called them justified or even denied they were terror attacks, how would the French government and public respond? China respects the values and working of foreign journalists, but it doesn't need to fawn on individuals like Gauthier. Neither will L'Obs reward her nor the Western media marketplace reward L'Obs.

Sometimes China needs to get tough on some Western rule-breakers based on its principles. A China that is reasonable and also bold to face frictions will earn more respect.
These screenshots were taken on December 27, 2015, and show image search results for "Islam" on Baidu and Bing.
 This screenshot was also taken on December 27, and shows that Baidu had banned users from establishing a PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum on the topic of "Islam."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

State Media Publishes Calls for German Christoph Rehage to be Prosecuted for Insulting Mao Zedong

On December 29, 2015, the Chinese Communist Party sponsored China Youth Daily published an article on its website, China Youth Net, entitled “Artist Tweets and Becomes Target of 'Foreign Online Celeb's' Blasphemy, Accused of Spreading 'Nazi Ideology'” (艺人发博遭“洋网红”亵渎 被诬宣传“纳粹思想”). Some excerpts:
"I say, who harms China the most? Its those irresponsible celebrities. Just like Wang Baoqiang, that's what is most disgusting." Recently, a video recorded and produced by the "Foreign Online Celeb" Rehage was being passed around on social media, making shockwaves among Internet users. In the 4:43 long video, Rehage uses words like "disgusting," "uncivilized," and "uncultured" to describe actor Wang Baoqiang, saying the Weibo Wang Baoqiang posted saying "Happy Birthday Grandpa Mao" was spreading "inhuman ideas" and "Nazi ideology," and "was harmful to society and harmful to himself."

On December 30, the China Youth Net posted two editorials about Christoph Rehage. Some excerpts:

Those Who Would Blaspheme the Nation's Founders Must be Expelled (亵渎开国领袖必须依法驱逐)
by Anonymous China Youth Net Commentator (中国青年网评论员)
Recently the German Rehage used his fluent Chinese to publish a video online comparing Mao Zedong, one of the main founders of the People's Republic of China, to Hitler. Foreigners like Rehage who target broadcasts at China's Internet users and use extremist language to challenge the bottom of line of the feelings of the Chinese masses and China's mainstream ideological values represent a severe threat to the security of China's ideological values, and must be expelled at once in accordance with the law.
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On the birthday of Mao Zedong, the actor Wang Baoqiang posted a Weibo saying "Wishing Grandpa Mao a Happy Birthday." This was the simple sentiment of countless Chinese people, an expression of the sentiment that "those who drink should never forget the well diggers," and a heartfelt expression of gratitude for "The Chinese people have stood up" and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people. This is the most universally held sincere feeling of the Chinese people. Rehage's attack on Wang Baoqiang as being "utterly disgusting," "uncivilized," and "uncultured" was a baseless attack that hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, and a brazen challenge to China's mainstream ideology.
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Today, near as we are to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Chinese people will never again be driven out and slaughtered by the rifles of great foreign powers. We have grabbed hold of our own destiny, and we are embarked on the arduous path in the quest for advancement. Whomsoever claims greatness through their deeds should be commemorated in perpetuity. No one, much less a foreigner, is entitled to interfere with, or make criticism of, the free expression of Wang Baoqiang.
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The great gate of China's reform will never be shut. But Rehage is increasingly looking like one of those unprincipled Big V's, who rely on being controversial to draw eyeballs. He has previously insulted Lei Feng, and taken part in satirizing the national heroine Hua Mulan. This foreigner Rehage has eaten China's food and then smashed China's bowl, and we no longer welcome him.
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If Rehage is currently within the borders of China, we must immediately expel him in accordance with the "National Security Law," the "Exit and Entry Administration Law," and relevant regulations. If he is not within the borders of China, he should henceforth be banned from entering.

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Experts: Rehage's Subjective and Malicious Critique of Mao Zedong Constitutes a Violation of the Law (专家:雷克主观恶意评价毛泽东构成违法)
by Lu Guanqiong and Li Ta (卢冠琼 李拓)
China Youth Net interviewed several academic and professional experts regarding the impact that Rehage's actions have had. The experts indicated that Rehage's actions constitute violations of the law.

"The assessment made by Rehage in the video was not an objective assessment. If it had been objectively factual, then it could be deemed freedom of speech. But Rehage's statements were for the most part purely false and subjectively malicious." Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Chinese University of Law and Politics' Mass Media Research Center, told reporters from China Youth Net, the actions of the young German Rehage disturbed public order and constitute a violation of the law. According Zhu Wei's analysis, "Rehage called Chairman Mao 'China's Hitler' and described him as someone who 'put to death millions of his countrymen,' and this is a far cry from being historically objective, and was clearly subjectively malicious." Zhu Wei pointed out, "subjective malice is considered a violation of freedom of speech even in Europe and America."
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Some Internet users wondered, "If Rehage did not record and produce this video and make these statements within the borders of China, can Chinese law still be applied to his actions?" Zhu Wei answers in the affirmative. Zhu Wei notes, "Even if Rehage is physically in Germany, or in any other country besides China, his actions were extended through the Internet, and what happens in the Internet environment happens in China. While there exists a distinction between the virtual and the physical, nevertheless because the nature of his influence and his online behavior takes place in China, therefore it remains appropriate to apply Chinese law."

Zhu Wei further explained, "For example, a person may be physically within their own country, but the online influence of their actions may take place internationally or in another country, and on the basis of the principles of 'protection' and 'jurisdiction,' any nation that feels the impact of only behavior will have the requisite jurisdiction."
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Zhu Wei went on to say, "We have jurisdiction over our own Internet environment, and regardless of where a person is located, as long as China's Internet is implicated, Chinese law will be applied him." Zhu Wei pointed out, Rehage's actions clearly violated the "Ten Articles for Weixin" ("Interim Rules on the Development and Administration of Instant Messaging Tools and Public Information Services").

Zhu Xudong, deputy director and Party Secretary of the Chinese Academy of Social Science's National Cultural Security and Ideology Building Research Center, told a China Youth Net reporter stated explicitly that "Foreign Public Intellectual" Rehage is not a one-off case, but is rather a kind of group force whose fundamental goal is to use foreign voices to mislead  Chinese people in their understanding of many matters and subvert our history and values in order to ultimately throw our ideology into disarray.

Zhu Xudong said: "This kind of speech has an impact on the our nation's ideological security, and what follow next is to endanger our national security. We must be steadfast in exposing and attacking, exposing the danger they represent.

A lawyer with 30 year's experience told a China Youth Net reporter that, from the perspective of Chinese law, looking at Rehage's recording and producing a video for public distribution, he could be suspected of violating the provisions of Article 246 of the "Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China" relating to crime of insulting and defaming. He said that, as expressed in the text of that law, Rehage's public online brazen use of fabricated facts to defame China's leaders represents an insult to the dignity of those leaders, and should constitute the crime of insulting and defaming.

This lawyer also mentioned that, although the crime of insulting and defaming falls under the category of crimes that only addressed when a complaint is made, because China's national leaders represent the image of the nation, this falls with the scope of the national interest. Seeing as Rehage brazenly humiliated and defamed a former national leader harmed the national image, and furthermore severely jeopardized the national interest and caused its international image to suffer, therefore Rehage's actions could be subject to legal prosecution by the state's public prosecutorial agencies.


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朱巍补充道,“我们对自己互联网的环境有管辖权,不管这个人在什么地方,只要涉及中国的网络,他都适用于中国的法律。”朱巍指出,雷克的行为很明显已违反了2014年8月国家互联网信息办公室发布的“微信十条”(《即时通信工具公众信息服务发展管理暂行规定 》)。





On December 31, the China Youth Net published an editorial by Wang Dehua (王德华) entitled "Foreigner's Blasphemy of Leaders is Internet Users' Shame" (任老外亵渎领袖是网民耻辱). Some excerpts: 
Once we were slaves. If we were not, then the 100 years of degradation of the Chinese people from 1840 to 1949 would never have taken place. We should rejoice at all we have today. From 1949, when the guns in front of Tiananmen sounded the founding of the nation until today, we now near the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people. Mao Zedong and the Party and army he founded saw much suffering, and we have reaped glory.
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There is nothing that is more frightening than having a monument representing the spirit of a people be destroyed. What accompanies the tumbling of great men and heroes is the collapse of a pillar of the entire nation's faith. Yesterday they defended us, and today we are duty bound to defend them. In defending them we defend our blessed existence.

It is as the commentators have said: "As for those shallow, ignorant, and insolent foreigners Ursula Gauthier and Christoph Rehage and their ilk, we do not look to be able to change them, but we have the right to chose our friends. According to the law, we must close the door to them." More than that, we must also make these people show respect, and give up their shallow, ignorant, and insolent ways.

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On January 1, 2016, the China Youth Net published an article by Lu Guanqiong (卢冠琼) entitled "German Rehage Blasphemes Mao Zedong and Invokes Public's Wrath, Internet Users Call for His Expulsion" (德国人雷克亵渎毛泽东惹众怒 网民齐呼驱逐). Some excerpts: 
Internet spaces are not a lawless territory. Zhu Wei, deputy director of the Chinese University of Law and Politics' Mass Media Research Center, told reporters from China Youth Net: "There is sovereignty on the Internet, and this sovereignty comprises the will of the nation. A major component of this Internet sovereignty is judicial sovereignty."
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Internet user @LovesToTrace said, "To forget history is a kind of treachery. The famous dictum rings in our ears, and we cannot forget the great men and heroes, and that it was they who built for us this blessed home where we enjoy our happy lives. We will not tolerate anyone smearing or marginalizing our national heroes for any reason. A people that is full of energy and potential should be of the highest quality throughout, and not tolerate any speech or act that wantonly distorts or slanders history and stirs up trouble in China."
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Zhejiang Internet user "Maple Tree" left a message after the news: "We cannot turn a blind eye to any insults to national heroes and leaders, and must resolutely support state prosecutors' to indict this psycho Rehage!" Over a thousand Internet users indicated their approval of his views on a news client platform.

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网友 @喜欢临帖说,“忘记历史就意味着背叛。名言铮铮在耳,我们不能忘记伟人和英雄,是他们为我们创建了幸福的家园,享受着快乐的生活,任何人以任何理由诬蔑歧视民族英雄都是不容许的,一个充满正能量、具有光明前途的民族应该是高素质的整体,不容任何肆意歪曲、诋毁历史的言行在中国大地兴风作浪。”
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On January 1, 2016, the China Youth Net published an editorial by Zhao Huaqi (赵华奇) entitled "We Must Draw Our Swords Against Foreigners Who Would Blaspheme Our Nation's Founders" (对洋人亵渎开国领袖须亮剑). Some excerpts: 
Some time ago, the speech of historical nihilists flooded the Internet, defaming China, smearing heroes, vilifying revolutionary martyrs, to the point where it was becoming "fashionable," a period of pestilential atmosphere. From Lai Ning to Lei Feng to Qiu Shaoyun to Hua Mulan, these historical events and factual legends that embody Chinese people's striving ever upward and represents the spirit of the Chinese people, they have all been shaken and blackened. This is not by accident, but is instead an organized and premeditated act of destruction. Accompanying the gradual awakening of the Internet's popular will has been a clear stifling of that strand of perversity. Bi Fujian's insults to the leaders were met with popular condemnation, and he was subjected to Party disciplinary action.  Jia Duo Bao and "Zuo Ye Ben" were forced to apologize after humiliating heroic martyrs by using them in advertising campaigns. Unprincipled intellectualism can no longer fight the tide, and now "Foreign Online Celebs" are going into battle naked!

We need to have a concept of Internet sovereignty. No one may trample on national lands, and  the Internet territory may not be willfully invaded. This implicates issues of national security principles. Rehage is not in China, but he has had an impact in China. This is naked online provocation. The Eight-Power Allied Forces once came to China with their cannon, and we cannot allow their ancestors to use online culture to invade China. Therefore, we cannot adopt a laissez-faire attitude to the Rehage's generation. Their willful blasphemy of our nation's founding fathers is intended to destroy our history, destroy our faith, and destroy our common cause. 



On January 1, the China Youth Net published a second editorial by Wang Dehua (王德华), this time entitled "Defense of Mao Zedong is a Great Tree's Vigilance of Its Roots" (捍卫毛泽东是大树对根须的守望). Some excerpts:
Recently, after Rehage was severely criticized by the China Youth Net for recording and producing a video blaspheming Mao Zedong, the leader of the People's of Republic of China, he had the temerity to demand the China Youth Net "apologize."
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Some people have said that the China Youth Net "overreacted," and "shouldn't lower itself to the level of an online hooligan." Looking at commentary on the forums, the foreigner's blasphemy of our leader did in fact lead to some of our fellow countrymen to act obsequiously, is it possible this is an overreaction? This is a tragedy for China, a disgrace for Internet users.

This was a battle where the enemy sought to attack and demolish the dikes of our national spirit, an enemy taking a knife to our faith.
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During the second "World Internet Conference" one phrase that Secretary General Xi Jinping emphasized was "Internet Sovereignty." Internet sovereignty is an important component of state sovereignty, and public opinion security is at the core of Internet security. China's Internet sovereignty must be lead by Chinese people. To render the  national spirit unassailable we must firmly grasp the battlefield of online ideology in the palm of our hands.
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Is it considered free speech in America to misrepresent and attack Washington, or in England to insult the Queen? We do not need any phony affection or apologies from Rehage. The state should establish a permanent blacklist, and add to it anyone who is anti-China, anti-Mao, or who slanders the Chinese Communist Party, shutting the door to them forever, and never let them set foot on China's sacred soil!

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在美国歪曲攻击华盛顿,在英国辱骂女皇,能是言论自由吗? 我们不需要雷克任何虚情假意的道歉。国家应建立永久性的黑名单,把那些反中、反毛泽东、诋毁中国共产党的列入之中,永世拒之门外,不得踏入中国神圣大地一步!