7  prohibited topics and authoritarianism in China

Posted on June 21, 2016, 9:16 pm
10 mins

For a long time, it is said that there is no return from liberty, basic human values, and democracy in the world. With the experience that China gained from its competition with the western civilization in the medieval, it shaped its political system along side with the  consensus on the protection of individual rights and freedoms in public view. With all of these developments and its success in many branches like education , law and well being lead china to empathize with this view. On the other hand, the economic achievements China has achieved with a single authoritarian system, especially after the economic depression in 2008, have been the focus of attention and the ‘Chinese Model’ has begun to be spoken in the academic world. Obviously, these discussions, while drawing attention to China’s economic policy, were obviously turning into a source of self-reliance for the political authority that takes its legitimacy from employment and development.

While the role of state planning in the Chinese economy is pointed out in the West, China believes that stability is the most important factor in its development. With stability being a concrete aspect of social security, the ideological and cultural stability has also been intensified after the Beijing Olympics, where China reached the peak of popularity between countries. For China, the Communist Party and its ideological thought are indispensable elements for the existence of the state. China is a different kind of a country and because of this the diplomatic reaction of China to criticism is the idea or the response that “the truths of other countries may not be true for China” and it constitutes China’s main defense line against criticism. The Beijing administration, which perceives the political ideology as a spirit that keeps the state afloat, has published a secret circular that prohibits to speak or to research or, in other words, take advantage of these, seven issues in the post-Xi Jinping period to prevent the shaking of this ideology.

Zhang Xuezhong, one of the professors of the East China University of Political Science and Law, shared the prohibitions that he had in the university on social media, and Beijing administration not denying the rumors. The 7 articles prohibited to be mentioned were surfaced with the confirmation of other scholars’ rumors. It was emphasised that the comrades of secret generals sent to the local party organs by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on May 13, 2013 were required to fight ‘dangerous’ Western values, especially the idea that the media domination was very important and that the party in Xi Jinping’s leadership has to be the only leading party for the benefit of the country. With the emergence of the general public, Zhang Xuezhong’s authority to lecture university students has been taken away by the institution in which he worked. Despite the blackout of all the internet pages that published this document, the news was published by many opposition in the region such as Taiwan and Hong Kong in the internet sites and it was broadcasted in foreign media. In Turkey, this prohibition, which has not been spoken since that day, is very interesting.

Published in general public ‘1- Universal values, 2- Freedom of the press, 3- Civil society, 4- Citizenship rights, 5- CCP’s historical mistakes, 6- Party rich supporters, 7- Judicial independence, as stated these 7′ dangerous’ matters were prohibited to be talked about or discussed in media and education institutions. Because of what Wu Bangguo had called the ‘do five things’ declaration in the ‘seven things to talk’ circulars, it was miss-understood as if China was going to further strengthen its authority in the up coming years.

In his speech on March 10, 2011, Wu Bangguo explained that China should not do the following five things: the power of different parties with multi-party system, pluralism in ideological thought, separation of powers and bipartisan system, federal system and privatisation.

Since there is no institutional opposition in China, people’s thoughts are being pursued not through the local authorities of the party, civilian police and social media. We can say that the most complained issue among the people and the social media is the wealth of the supporters, the youths that are going thru a wealth burst and the mistakes that Mao or the CCP have made especially during the ‘Cultural Revolution’ and ‘Great Leap’.

As the income imbalance turned into a cliff and after two thousand years the Chinese abandoned the habit of concealing their wealth, indigestion against the rich began in the lower layer of the people. For now, this situation is tried to be balanced by the employment opportunities offered by economic development in China. It is unclear how the social life might be reflected in the case of a possible economic crisis and a sudden slowing of growth. Due to this condition, China is trying to avoid or we can say stop any rumors about the rich pro-party individuals that might spread rapidly thru the media and cause angel for the public. Freedom of the press, judicial independence, and subjects such as that had a voice that sounded weaker for the high individuals . In these areas, it is observed that Chinese people living in places such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and America have more active opposition.

Especially after the bans that bet on the social media, some reactions have occurred and as a result the words ‘7 forbidden’ and similar words have been censored. Articles and blog articles are available about China’s banning of these seven substances and the ban’s positive effects when this topic is searched on Baidu. Baidu is the search engine of the country. As emphasized in the public secretly, the unilateral holding of the media in absolute terms is seen as an essential part of the CCP to be the single party and maintain its material and spiritual leadership. Because the interest of China for its state must come before the interests of the individual and above all else, but the prohibition of speaking about citizenship rights was added among the prohibited substances. With the emphasis on respect for the democratic system of the West itself, it is said that China has some special circumstances, and that many practitioners in the Western system will harm China and destabilize it. Reasons like these seem to be the argument of Chinese leaders and their legitimacy to maintaining their authoritarian system.

It was thought that the integration into the global system by joining the World Trade Organization after the outward and reform policies will force China to abandon authoritarianism. Despite this, the reason for the administration to take the initiative to increase concessions and censorship is not only the self-reliance given by the military and economic rise but also a more of a distraction of the attention on China due to the increasing number of conflicts and terrorist incidents in the world. The willingness of China to do what it wants has become more evident in the case of some book sellers in Hong Kong being detained for months and released after paper signing, and  China appears to have ignored criticism from outside about compromising on having an opposition party. The fact that the economic development is closely linked to the state planning and the unanimous internal stability will make China an important international conference host and China will insist on preserving its authoritarian structure.

In 2014, Academia China, which is dedicated to promote a harmonious relationship amongst continents, started building a connection between China and Turkey, providing better awareness and understanding about their geopolitical differences, eliminating prejudice along with discrimination, creating a bridge from Far East to European countries and eventually around the globe. To conclude, Academia China serves as a gateway for all nations in the world.

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