Continued from Part 1…
Chinese Communist Party has been doing a “great” job limiting our freedom of expression, killing our critical thinking abilities, and restraining our freedom of speech. Its effort to intervene with every single one of the three key components alone can create a major destruction to our free will, let along the disaster it is capable of when the effort to destroy all three is combined. What is even more striking about all this is that they are so successful that they are able to keep 1.4 billion people completely in the dark with no idea of their human rights being violated.
What is Happening to the Freedom of Expression in China?
You might have heard of the infamous Great Firewall of China, through which Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat are all banned. Even though China has its own “government-approved” version of all of those mentioned, everything shared and discussed on those Chinese platforms are almost seamlessly supervised and censored.
As a result, unless you are tech savvy or are willing to pay for some kind of special service to cross over the Firewall, you won’t get any information that the Party does not want you to know.
When here in West we complain about our media being biased, I oftentimes think to myself, “It is good that we can at least choose to be either biased or neutral…” In China, as media personnel, you simply don’t have a choice but to say the “alternative truth” because you cannot publish anything that damages the Communist party or goes against its official narrative.
As a civilian, any given information you do end up receiving is nothing but the product of a one-sided story.
What is Happening to the Freedom of Speech in China?
There is no platform to express yourself openly and freely.
The government recruits an army of Internet Police (numbering more than 2 million people in 2013) whose job is to catch any “inappropriate” content online before it starts to circulate. It’s a dedicated team with ultra high-efficiency that gets things censored within seconds.
If you dare to speak out, you might lose your job or jeopardize your entire career, just to name the lightest consequences. Or you could be put in jail or even killed like what happened to so many people with a sense of righteousness.
Publications with alternative political opinions and standpoints are simply not allowed. Amnesty International notes that China “has the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world.” Even if there is more freedom in Hong Kong, the Communist Party still managed to “discipline” the booksellers there who were selling banned books, like what happened in the Causeway Bay Books disappearances case.
If you are enlightened and dare to protest, you might end up losing your life and getting the entire event wiped out of the history, just look at what happened in the horrifying Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in which intellectuals like students were killed just because of their strong demand for democracy.
I had never heard of any of these when I was in China and only found out about them in the last few years. The sad truth is that, there are a lot more horrifying practices that I will uncover in the future and they would be so hard to accept as I do love my country.
End of Part 2… Part 3 continues next week.