Restriction and Resistance

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Since 2012, President Xi Jinping has mounted an aggressive anti-corruption campaign against the so-called “tigers and flies,” corrupt officials at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as well as local bureaucrats and businessmen throughout the country.  Over 1500 officials have been prosecuted for corruption so far, including Xu Caihou, chairman of the Central Military Commission and Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and head of China’s security services.

Accompanying the effort to root out corruption in the CCP is a tightening of controls on Chinese society.  There has been a crackdown on social media and the Internet in addition to arrests and detentions of feminists, environmental activists, journalists, and civil rights lawyers. Party members were warned not to hold “improper discussions” on government policy, and in March, President Xi visited the People’s Daily, the Xinhua News Agency, and CCTV, insisting that editors and reporters pledge loyalty to the party. “They must love the party, protect the party, and closely align themselves with the party leadership in thought, politics and action,” Xi said. 

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