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China Reform Monitor - No. 1265

Violence flares again on China-Myanmar border;
New restrictions on social media

Edited by Joshua Eisenman
January 6, 2017


December 20:

As many as 15,000 people have fled across Myanmar's border into China in the past month and another 2,400 people have been displaced internally in the northern part of Shan state since November 20 when a coalition of four rebel armies attacked Myanmar’s military and police outposts, 
al Jazeera reports. Intense fighting between the army and armed ethnic groups hindered the distribution of aid to people affected by conflict. The situation "is getting worse," said a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Myanmar. 

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television has issued the "Circular on Strengthening the Management of Video and Audio Programs on Social Networking Platforms such as Weibo and WeChat," which requires all those operating online video and audio content using Weibo, WeChat, and the various types of social applications to obtain a "Public Film Screening Permit" or "Television Series Distribution Permit." Platforms must monitor if content is suitable according to "various requirements for managing video and audio programs," the document said, adding that the "scope of content cannot exceed the limit specified in the license issued to platforms." Social networking platforms such as Weibo and WeChat are not allowed to repost self-made video or audio news programs on “political news,” 
the official China Daily reports
.

December 21:

Newly revised Regulations on Military Audits will go into effect January 1st. Central Military Commission (CMC) Chairman Xi Jinping signed the Regulation, which “covers the audit supervision system, audit authority, audit matters, audit procedure and work system, and other aspects,” 
the official Xinhua news agency reports. "The CMC chairman’s responsibility system...focuses on pushing forward political construction of the army, strengthening the army through reform, and administering the army in accordance with the law." The "Regulation" is intended to standardize military auditing, establish a strict supervision network system, and promote a clean military administration. The "Regulation" strengthens the military audit and supervisory authorities, stipulates that they can investigate and collect evidence, check bank deposits, impose fines, announce results, and seek assistance. Once they discover violations of laws and disciplines, they should transfer them to the discipline inspection departments for further investigation. 

December 22:

China’s Ministry of Public Security is distributing a 7.5 minute video which the New York Times describedas a "phantasmagoria of the Communist Party’s nightmares of Western subversion." Ominous images set dark, urgent music include refugees fleeing failed uprisings in the Middle East, western leaders cast as puppet masters of subversion in China and Hong Kong, and Chinese lawyers confessing in show trials. "'Color revolution' has already succeeded in pushing many countries into the flames of war and schism, and its devilish claws are reaching into China. Embassies in China are at the forward command, combining forces to promote ‘street politics.'" Plotters and subversives are "stirring up mass incidents and using social tensions as a point to break through and serve as the fuse for ‘color revolution.'" They are "using foreign nongovernmental organizations to nurture ‘proxies’ and to establish a social basis for ‘color revolution.'" Dark images and language give way to swelling melodies and images of a bright dawn over the Great Wall. There are pictures of smiling people and muscular Chinese troops. "Thoroughly expelling 'color revolution' from China will be a long war," the video warns but, "if there is war, we will answer the call," it declares.

[Editor’s Note: This conspiratorial worldview is a longstanding theme that has gained greater official credence under President Xi Jinping. "The first option for hostile forces infiltrating us is our education system," China’s minister of education, Chen Baosheng, said earlier this month.]

December 31:

"The relationship between China and the rest of the world is undergoing historic changes. China needs to know better about the world and the world needs to know better about China," President Xi Jinping said in a letter to the China Global Television Network (CGTN). CGTN is a multi-language, multi-platform media group just launched by China Central Television (CCTV) as a rebranding of CCTV news, 
China Daily
reports. "CGTN should tell stories about China well and spread China's voice well; enable the world to see a multidimensional and colorful China; present China as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and an upholder of international order; and make efforts to build a community of common destiny," Xi said. In February 2016, Xi called for innovation in concepts, content and methods while visiting the People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency, and CCTV.


Related Categories: China; China and East Asia Program

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