In the Orwellian world that is the People’s Republic of China, one has to often reverse the meaning of terms to understand their true meaning. That is the case again this week when China announced a new crackdown on journalists to “protect” the public from “fake journalists and news.” In modern Chinese, that means protecting the public from real journalists. The crackdown is being carried out by he General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP).
The new laws will further restrict the circulation of information on the Internet, which (with more than half a billion users in the country) represents a threat to the totalitarian regime. GAPP announced that all of these free journalists have “severely disturbed the press and publication order and affected social harmony and stability.” Social harmony means that they are threatening the ruling elite, which live like Mandarins in a faux communist regime. Stories revealing crimes and corruption on the web have been declared “vulgar.” It is an ironic since vulgar is defined as “Of or associated with the great masses of people.” In this case, the Communist regime wants to crush stories and concerns associated with the great masses of people.
It is also a cautionary tale for American traveling to China. Gap is a place to find distressed jeans. Gapp is a place to find distressed journalists. However, they do have a similar slogan: “For every generation there’s a Gapp.”