China tightens party loyalty requirements in sensitive year / Reuters
Two new developments show that the growing restrictions of the last few years on academics, news, and the legal system are not going to be relaxed in 2017:
Reuters reports on new Communist Party rules issued late Monday that demand that “leaders in newspapers, magazines, radios and TV stations…have strong political faith and adhere to the spirit of Party doctrines.” The rules also say that university leaders must “persevere in building their schools towards socialism” and that primary and secondary school teachers “must make Party loyalty a part of their work.” On January 14, the president and Party secretary of China’s Supreme People’s Court Party Group gave a speech about “the need to ‘raise the sword’ against the ideologies of judicial independence, separation of powers, and constitutional democracy.” You can find analysis and further details from legal scholars Flora Sapio and Jerome Cohen.
Official fired for calling Mao Zedong a “devil” on social media / Reuters
An official in the northern Chinese city of Shijiazhuang has been fired after he called Mao Zedong a “devil” on social media and said the annual commemoration of Mao’s birthday on December 26 is “the world’s largest cult activity.” Reuters states that the Shijiazhuang Bureau of Culture, Radio, Film, TV, Press and Publication said that its deputy director was “sacked for ‘posting wrong remarks’ on China’s Twitter-like Weibo service and ‘serious violation of political discipline.’”
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