China Policy Institute Blog

Chinese Propaganda in Historical Perspective: Five terms to consider

Written by Timothy Cheek. In August 2013 Xi Jinping declared a propaganda war on independent political criticism on China’s internet, especially the popular domestic weibo microblogging platforms. He urged his colleagues in the Chinese Communist Party to “seize the ground of new media.” The Party has waged this war with a crackdown on influential weibo commentators …

From Holding up Half of Heaven to Learning How to Flirt

Written by Chris Berry. Amongst the most memorable commercial films on display at  the recently concluded Far East Film Festival in Udine, Italy—for all the wrong reasons—was Pang Ho-Cheung (彭浩翔)’s Chinese-Hong Kong 2014 co-production, Women Who

Prolonged Calm: The Propaganda of Positive Thinking

Written by David Volodzko. In the Autumn of 1934 the Red Army began its Long March retreat to escape the grip of the Kuomintang. The bedraggled survivors arrived a year later in the town of Yan’an where they recouped under the command of Mao Zedong. By the time they took power and established the PRC …

The enduring themes of Chinese propaganda

Written by Matthew Johnson. Two of the most enduring and seemingly paradoxical features of China’s propaganda state are its staying power and steady decline. In English, the word ‘propaganda’ is often deployed as an epithet for media that appears crassly manipulative or one sided. Public relations firms, advertisers, newspapers, and governments may be accused of spreading …

Government transparency reporting and access to information in Hong Kong

Written by Jennifer Zhang. The Hong Kong government has been disclosing the aggregate number of online user data and content removal requests it has sent to service providers since 2010, the correct move to increase transparency and accountability of Internet governance. However, the government has yet to disclose its request-making procedures, and the lack of a …

Does Authoritarian Government Respond to the Chinese People?

Written by Ma Liang. Authoritarian regimes are usually characterized as being less responsive to its citizens in comparison to democratic governments. The use of Internet and other cutting-edge information and communication technologies (ICTs) have substantially transformed the process of government operation. An interesting question to be answered is whether and how authoritarian governments equipped with ICTs respond to …

New normality and the National People’s Congresses

Written by Kerry Brown. National People’s Congresses in China tend to overwhelm participants with policy detail. Li Keqiang’s government report came to forty densely printed pages, and took him more than two hours to read out. There were plenty of other documents issued over the period from March 5, from entities like the Ministry of Finance …

Why China’s Xi Jinping Is Still Far From Chairman Mao Status

Written by Steve Tsang. Much has been written in recent weeks of how Chinese president Xi Jinping has established himself as China’s most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping. Distinguished Harvard scholar Roderick MacFarquhar went a step further in an interview with the New York Times, comparing Xi’s authority with that of Chairman Mao Zedong. Other China watchers have voiced …

The three ‘P’s’ of the fourth plenum

Written by Kerry Brown. There are three ‘P’s’ that the Fourth Plenum outcome on law make clear about the Xi style of leadership. The first is that it is populist. The second is that it is driven by increasingly programmatic politics. Finally, it is driven increasingly by the personality of its central leader as a …

Rule of law with Chinese characteristics

Written by Jackie Sheehan. The decisions emanating from CCP plenums seldom contain surprises – the official communiqué will have been drafted before the session opens. The 4th Plenum of the 18th CCP Central Committee completed on October 23rd was no exception. The plenum’s conclusions on “comprehensively advancing the rule of law” were always likely to go …