Mysterious forces protect Chinese protest sites

Now this is an intriguing story. Could it be that some unknown mysterious string puller — perhaps Hu Jintao? — is giving his secret blessing to highly outspoken Chinese web sites criticizing the CCP at decibel levels that would usually qualify them for a hasty crackdown?

And could it all be part of Hu’s defense aginst his nemesis Jiang Zemin? The authors speculate that Hu is using these sites strategically to get his humanitarian, reformist messages out to the people. If so, Jiang must be mighty pissed.

Censorship is second-nature to Chinese authorities, but surprisingly, at least two highly critical websites appear to be sanctioned, despite – or because of – their harsh criticism of official corruption and malfeasance. There is widespread speculation that reformist President Hu Jintao is encouraging freedom of speech in cyberspace in order to build public support and consensus for his views and to discredit his opponents. He has been pushing greater democracy, accountability and transparency within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the Internet may well be helping him. His major opponent is former president Jiang Zemin and his Shanghai Clique who resist the idea of discipline within the party and prefer traditional Chinese autocracy.

This is a rich, fascinating article that takes you into a web of intrigue; I sure hope Hu knows with whom he’s dealing. (I was taught at an early age never to mess with the guy who controls the army.)

One note of caution: This is Asia Times, and some commenters have questioned its credibility here in the past.

Link via CDN; let’s always try to acknowledge where we get our links from. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Discussion: 7 Comments

i must admit that i was very confused when i first visited that website some days ago.

i was expecting something along the lines of the ‘corrupt website reporting system’ when users fill out forms.

but this one just carried stories. the one story that i read in detail was a seven-day diary kept by a prostitute. she is not naming any specific individuals. so, for example, she was saying something like:

today, the local police officer came in for a session. when he was done, i asked him for payment. he refused and left.

today, some other client came in. when he ws done, he left me 10 RMB and said that he is short on cash right now but he promises to repay me later.

what kinda complaint is that? this was more muzimei than public security bureau!

i was beginning to think that this was a parody site, except there seems to be an enormous amount of effort for that.

July 19, 2004 @ 9:38 pm | Comment

you always likes Hu jingtao,haha,why?????

look at this, all the CCP leaders are same!!!!

However, Deng took a U-turn to tighten speech control later, when leaders of China’s fledgling democracy movement were harassed and jailed, including Wei Jingsheng who called for democratic reform.”

why not mention this, peking duvk!!!!!

July 19, 2004 @ 10:57 pm | Comment

The same thought had occured to me. Think the hundred flowers, followed by the reaping of a hundred flowers, Deng’s democracy wall, and so on….

July 20, 2004 @ 2:31 am | Comment

I read about this a on a Chinese website about a week ago:

The above article doesn’t list the website in question (, but it’s trivial to find out when doing a search on it chinese name.

Anyway, on to my point, which is that it’s not just the Asia times that’s picked up on this story ๐Ÿ™‚

July 20, 2004 @ 3:07 am | Comment

Personally I think there is some truth behind this story … it probably is one faction against another faction … but at the same time, I am cynical about the motives. I don’t think it is anything so pleasant or hopeful as enlightened reformers against nasty conservatives … it’s just one faction against another faction, using whatever means they can to lever themselves up.

July 20, 2004 @ 9:50 pm | Comment

Asia by Blog

Joe at Winds of Change kindly cross-posted the last edition and in return I’m pinching his formatting idea. Let that be a lesson to you. And now on with the show of Asia’s blogging’s best: Hong Kong, Taiwan and China Phil Sen looks at who would win a w…

July 22, 2004 @ 12:18 am | Comment

Li En, I am inclined to agree. A part of me wants to really believe Hu and Wen are reformers and sensitive to the needs of their people. But then, another side of me tells me I am being hopelessly naive. These are men of immense power, and look at the outrages they allow to take place, and look at how little political change they have really allowed. So I’ll be won over by Hu’s alleged compassion and reform-mindedness as soon as I see it in action. For now, I’m with you — cynical and suspicious.

July 22, 2004 @ 10:32 am | Comment

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