By Li Ping
Recently, the Hong Kong police and the chief of the state mouthpiece have been throwing punches after punches towards Apple Daily. The attacks of guns and pens in a whirlwind, just imagine the kind of chilling effect they are causing in the media. However, the purge of the media is not only happening in Hong Kong, but even in China where control has always been strict, there has been a tightening on the Internet, party history, textbooks, libraries, and movies. Even former Premier Wen Jiabao’s article, “My Mother”, has been “harmonized”. Why is the CCP panicking right before the party is due to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding? Is it just like 1600 years ago when the battered Qin army imagined the arrival of the enemies?
RTHK has been punished and Apple Daily is receiving blows. This is the masterpiece of the CCP and Hong Kong Commies who have continued to demonstrate the power of the Hong Kong National Security Law, it is also an improvisation of the purge of the media before 7.1 (July 1). The CCP, who has long been self-regarded as “great, glorious, and righteous”, needs to celebrate its 100th birthday in a glorious manner, and wants to use this opportunity to secure the foundation built on “public opinion” for Xi Jinping’s relection as General Secretary. How could it allow for skepticism and criticism by media within its border? The purge of the Internet and the media is an urgent task for the new era of praise and harmony (whitewashing), while the rewriting of the party history (Chinese history) and textbooks are the construction of thoughts (brainwashing). These long-term grand plans are being carried out concurrently in the Mainland and Hong Kong.
What was unexpected was the situation with Wen Jiabao’s four-part article “My Mother” published in Macao-based Jornal Orientacao de Macau. The article was shared on websites like NetEase and Ifeng, but as of yesterday, it has been taking down and replaced with “Page is missing” and “404” error messages. Both WeChat and Weibo have banned the article from being circulated. On the Chinese Internet, the more an article is “harmonized”, the more popularity it gains. Wen Jiabao’s article was published between Mar. 25 and Apr. 15, and at first there was no sensation at all, yet once “harmonized”, it was widely circulated locally and abroad. Readers are very interested in dissecting its “death”.
During Wen Jiabao’s tenure as Premier, he had often publicly endorsed universal values. They have since been abandoned by the CCP, yet it seems like he cannot let go. In the last chapter of his article commemorating his kind late mother, he once again reiterated, “”In my mind, China should be a country of fairness and justice. It should always respect humanity, people’s hearts and the nature of human beings. It should always have youthfulness, freedom and a fighting spirit.” Not only did not he directly sing the praises of the new era for reaching this realm, but he criticized and even exaggerated his dissatisfaction with the current situation. In the context of the larger rectification of the media, it seems reasonable.
In his article, Wen Jiabao quoted from two letters from his late mother which spoke of how an official should act, which is to be accessible and harmonious, “a lone tree can never be a forest”, and the second is to hope that with his re-election, he would be in the same boat with everyone, thick or thin, “get through the next five years of obstacles peacefully.” Perhaps it was not the intention of the author, yet the readers cannot help but speculate by comparing Wen Jiabao’s deeds and status with those of the current Premier Li Keqiang as some sort of admonition to Xi Jinping. When the fourth-generation second-in-command of the CCP is also silenced, in comparison, the purge of RTHK and Apple Daily is truly unmarkable. “Come what may.”
In fact, the Chinese Internet and Wen Jiabao’s article exactly illustrate how panicky the regime is. Wasn’t there the “Four Confidence” (Path, theory, system, and culture)? In Book of Jin, Biography of Xie Xuan, it recalled, “Even at the rumble of the wind, the people thought the enemy’s king has arrived.” It talked about the scene during the battle of Fei Shui in 383, when Xie Xuan led the small Jin army to defeat the larger enemy, and the defeated Qin army retreated. The CCP is currently preparing for its centennial celebration, and has been blatantly promoting how it has erased the humiliation of 120 years through its wolf-warrior diplomacy. It even proclaimed that the West’s besiegement cannot stop the revival of the great Chinese nation. Then, how is it that the CCP is looking more like the defeated Qin, rather than the victorious Jin? How is it that the CCP is so afraid of the enemy’s king?
A century-old business or a century-old regime is not common in Chinese history. On Nov. 24, 1994, the centennial celebration of the Chinese Kuomintang was held in Taiwan. Lee Teng-hui, then chairman of the party, emphasized in his speech that “this party shoulders the sacred duty of revitalizing the Chinese nation.” Therefore “the whole party must strictly practice and implement the principle of ‘sovereignty among the people’, to promote healthy competition of party politics, and to win the support of the greatest number of people.” 16 months later, on Mar. 23, 1996, Taiwan saw its first direct presidential election in history.
The 100-year-old CCP is also waving the banner of the revival of the nation, singing the same tune as Kuomintang during its centennial, but will the outcome be the same? The prospect is unclear. What we can see now, with the quasi-party bans and quasi-reporting bans in China and Hong Kong, the CCP is following the path of Kuomintang’s period of continued mobilization for the suppression of Communist rebellion in Taiwan. Hence the panic.
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