When a leader issues a specific order, it is inevitable that his underlings will follow suit. Seeing how Xi has encouraged his underlings to be braver when it comes to “brandishing their swords,” Chinese bureaucrats both small and large have started to take feverish action.
Chinese media outlets have busied themselves reporting the actions of “freelance writers” to their superiors, Web sites have carried out strict controls on online opinion leaders and online authors, and publishing houses and writers’ associations have tightened management of contracted authors, while cultural performance organizations and radio and television broadcast channels have put tighter controls on actors and singers.
Especially worthy of attention here are those known in China as “Big Vs,” or popular Internet personalities, who in recent weeks have been charged with baseless crimes, arrested and forced to issue “statements of repentance” on state-run China Central Television.
Dissidents have attracted more negative attention, and a professor in the economics department at Peking University, was recently dismissed from his job on groundless charges for merely for saying too much. Guangzhou’s New Express tabloid has been “cleansed” by the CCP, while party officials in Tibet have announced that they plan to rid it of every last influence of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
What we are seeing now is imperial fascism rearing its ugly head.
Yu Jie is an exiled Chinese author.
Translated by Drew Cameron