China has issued new rules demanding the establishment of Communist Party panels in non-government bodies, aiming to beef up the ruling party’s role in such social groups, amid a broad crackdown on civil society, Reuters reports:
The new guidelines, released late on Sunday by the general office of the party’s central committee and the State Council, or cabinet, say party committees must be set up to ensure “effective cover” in all NGOs…. Supervision of the groups must also be placed high among the daily tasks of local party committees, whose performance will be judged on how well they manage the groups, the guidelines added. Party committees can also assign their own representatives to run party activities in groups judged sufficiently large…..
“Strengthen political thought education for responsible people at social groups, and guide them to actively support party building,” the guidelines said. “Promote the place of party building in the social group’s charters.”
China is reaching a point today where it can either turn toward a more rule-of-law, democratic solution to the problems that it faces or it can tighten up, try to circle the wagons, increase repression and increase appeals to nationalism which would also then strain its relations with other countries, said Carl Gershman (right), president of the National Endowment for Democracy.
“And so I think it’s important for people to recognize that it’s a dangerous moment, precisely because the regime feels insecure,” he told The Taipei Times:
Now what does that mean for a country like Taiwan? I think it means you have to hold the course — you just have to continue to do the right thing.
Taiwan has to continue to strengthen its democracy. Taiwan has to continue to reach out. Taiwan has to continue to offer an alternative model for Confucian society that is democratic, which I think has great appeal in China and it shows that there is an alternative to this concentration of state power in the hands of a centralized bureaucracy. And hopefully through the actions of the US and other democratic countries, we can maintain a balance of power and stable international order that will allow these forces to play out.
The crackdown seen in Tibet and Xinjiang is being extended to the rest of China, reports suggest:
In July, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) established new rules that prohibit websites from publishing unverified news. The move was seen as an attempt to slow the spread of information on social media, especially on Weibo and WeChat….. Numerous civil society groups are doing their best to keep information flowing and to protect those within China, but the odds are stacked against them. China’s technical resources far outweigh anything that non-governmental organizations can counter with.
“Clearly, China can put in tens of thousands of times more resources into [monitoring and surveillance] than civil society actors can for internet freedom,” said Greg Walton, a cybersecurity expert who has monitored Chinese tactics for some time.