Sad and Sarcastic Comments Led to Mass Arrests in China

Epoch Times
Date: September 6, 2015
By: Frank Fang, Epoch Times and Larry Ong, Epoch Times

On Aug. 31, the Chinese Communist Party’s official broadcaster, China Central Television, announced

Chinese security stand in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Aug. 30, 2015. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese security stand in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Aug. 30, 2015. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)

that the regime had arrested and punished 197 citizens and blocked 165 online accounts for “spreading rumors” on the Internet.

CCTV’s announcer said that the remarks, which were mainly about the recent deadly explosions in Tianjin, and the ongoing Chinese stock market crash, were “bewitching people, stirring up public sentiment, creating panic, and misleading the masses, resulting in serious interference to the financial market order and social order.”

But an examination by Epoch Times of the comments that were highlighted in the CCTV report indicates that they were hardly calls for revolution in China—instead, many of them were either sorrowful or merely a little salty.

One of the reasons censorship in China is so effective is that it’s very hard to predict what content will be subject to punishment.
— Madeline Earp, Freedom House

The punishing of Chinese citizens for sharing their personal thoughts on Chinese social media comes amid the backdrop of a Chinese stock market that has been plunging since July, and an apocalyptic blaze in the port city of Tianjin that killed at least 158 and injured hundreds of others in August.

The recent crackdown also foreshadows a big military parade on Sept. 3, held to commemorate China’s victory in World War II, but which is widely regarded as a grandiose effort by the Chinese Communist Party to project the nation’s might to the world—and bolster its faltering public image.     [FULL  STORY]

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