Fighting the future

Michael Sainsbury

Global Pulse Magazine

As China’s supreme leader Xi Jinping sails into his third year at the helm of the world’s most populous nation, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: some of the most vitally important soldiers on the ground in the Communist Party’s war of survival do not carry guns. Most have never fired a shot. They are its army of censors and propaganda chiefs.

It is a war against ideas and the most basic of freedoms — the freedom of thought. It is war driven by fear. For decades now, the party has been freed from the shackles of any ideology and countless millions of its officials have become driven by rampant greed. Beyond the fear of ideas is fear of the Chinese people themselves.

Over the past year this has been underscored in a fresh attack on the Internet, that freewheeling, hard to control marketplace of ideas. In the past two weeks this has been so stepped up that it threatens the ability of foreign business people, academics, engineers and other professionals to access global information from inside China. In tandem, over the past year, the party prodded by Xi has implemented harsh controls over the nation’s universities, that other crucible of thought. Read more…. (paywall)