Communist Party members across China are receiving secret instructions from Beijing to stomp out notions of democracy or rights that are growing among Chinese citizens. It appears that ideas of freedom are creeping into the worker’s paradise and, in a remarkably frank and brutal message, the Party is warning that such ideas (called the “seven perils”) are threatening its hold on China.
The seven perils as listed in the infamous Document No. 9 include:
1. “Western constitutional democracy”
2. “Universal values” of human rights
3. Western-inspired notions of media independence and civic participation
4. pro-market “neo-liberalism”
5. “nihilist” criticisms of the party’s traumatic past.
I cannot find reference to the other two “perils.” Notably, the memo talks of the rampant corruption of party officials but in terms of the insidious use of free speech to inform the public of such corruption. The memo states that democracy advocates “have stirred up trouble about disclosing officials’ assets, using the Internet to fight corruption, media controls and other sensitive topics, to provoke discontent with the party and government.”
Cheng Xinping, a deputy head of propaganda for Hengyang echoed the urgency in crushing hopes for free elections and self-determination: “Promotion of Western constitutional democracy is an attempt to negate the party’s leadership.” He certainly understands the point of democracy.
Once again, as our government joins in attacks on the Internet, Document No. 9 shows how vital this resource is in the fight for universal rights. Even a country with the authoritarian power as China is afraid of the power of ideas as transmitted over the Internet. What the Chinese Communist party calls perils, people call freedom. They are of course right. Freedom does threaten the Communist Party, which cannot exist in a free and open society. It appears that even China cannot stop the workers from whispering about basic human rights.
Source: NY Times