July 4, 2011

Tibet: Leaks Reveal State Policy of Information Monopoly

Leaked documents from Chinese authorities show that the increased censorship and crack down on opposition is a deliberate policy aiming at maintaining the monopoly if information.  

Below is an article published by Spero News:

Step up censorship, immediately jail anyone who spreads damaging news for the government, widespread checks on all citizens from an early age and even denounce those who only complain. The Danish newspaper Information has published excerpts taken from official documents it says are sourced to the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, the Central Office for Propaganda and leadership of the CCP in Beijing. What emerges is a Communist Party that thinks only to crush all opposition, far from the image of calm in the face of such issues that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has presented on his recent visit to Europe. 

Confidential documents, issued between January and March [2011], indicate how the CCP to maintain its balance of power, has increased censorship and the effort to influence international opinion about China. The aim is to maintain the monopoly of information and prevent people from spreading "sensitive information". To this ends "methods of monitoring" the news must be improved and "illegal news sources” quickly identify." For these purposes violence is also allowed: provincial governments and the military are ordered to "crush" any criticism of the CCP and its leaders, as well as the promotion of different political systems and freedom of the press". 

"We must – it ends - completely block and eliminate any illegal and disturbing information on Chinese and foreign websites." The author must be "identified, quickly tried and immediately taken to jail." 

To achieve these ends, provincial governments are told to create specific "cells" to influence public opinion, also participating in the discussions in chat rooms and blogs. The post of head of information, "in schools, universities, workplaces, villages and summer homes" must be created to identify and denounce, on a daily basis, anyone who is "critical" to the authorities. 

There is also a criticism of democracies. "Hostile forces inside and outside of China - it says – call on us to change. They try by every means, to contain our development, to defame our image and to infiltrate our ideology and culture. They try to pressure us to make us accept Western values and its political system. " 

Neither should authorities neglect to "restrict the space of private groups and foreign journalists" and prevent "enemies of the regime from explaining their thinking to the foreign media." 

With regard to the issue of Tibet, it is stated that "we must reduce the power that the supporters of Tibetan independence and separatist forces in Xinjiang have in international public opinion." 

Stephanie Bridgen, director of the group Free Tibet, told AsiaNews that "these confidential documents show the complete duplicity of statements by Wen, June 28 [2011] in Great Britain, that 'the future China will have a full democracy, the rule of law, equity and Justice ', and that conditions' for the Chinese people to 'check and criticize' government’ will be set up. Britain cannot continue to ignore human rights violations in Tibet and China, in the knowledge that these violations are part of the strategy of the CCP to maintain its control over Tibet and the Chinese people. " 

These directives also explain the disproportionate force currently deployed by China to suppress dissent in the Kirti Monastery in Kardze (Ganzi, Sichuan). 

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