Ten Forbidden Behaviours

Regional Chinese Communist officials have put forward a list of “10 forbidden behaviors” designed to improve the manners and  image of party operatives.  These do not have quite the moral heft of the 10 Commandments, but they give some good tips for getting along with “the masses.”

Read them after the jump.  And then I invite you to suggest equivalent behaviors in our society that deserve to be “forbidden” (not that they would be, hopefully, in a free society, but you know what I mean). [Read more…]

China eases one-child policy

Still-Communist China announced a series of social, economic, and political reforms.  Most notable is the change in China’s one-child policy, which has been enforced by forced abortion.  Not that China has given its people freedom.  Now if the husband and the wife can both claim the status of “only child,” they can have two babies without penalty.  So now there is more of a two-child policy. [Read more…]

Chinese pro-life dissident update

The blind Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng, who battled China’s forced abortion policy, was imprisoned for four years, and made a daring escape to the United States had been dumped from his post at New York University on suspicion of fraternizing with Christians and pro-lifers; also because the university is trying to open a branch campus in China. But he has just been given a position at Catholic University in Washington, D. C., with additional funding from the Witherspoon Institute and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. [Read more…]

Obama dissed by Snowden’s escape

China and Russia both gave NSA-whistleblower Edward Snowden safe passage on his way to asylum in Ecuador.  This, despite direct American pleas to stop him and turn him over.   Russia and China, usually on the receiving end of America’s criticisms for their violations of human rights, can now accuse the U.S. of violating the civil rights of its own citizens by eavesdropping on them.  There is also the resentment internationally that foreigners were particularly targeted.  At any rate, this whole fiasco of Snowden’s escape amounts to  a major diplomatic show of disrespect for the Obama administration. [Read more…]

Tweaking movies for China

Hollywood talks a lot about artistic freedom, but the prospect of reaching the vast market that is China trumps concerns like that.  To get past the still-Communist censors, movie-makers make all kinds of changes. [Read more…]

Grandmother cops

A reminder that  people can be kept in line (and tyranny enforced) not only by fear but also by niceness.

China’s authoritarianism has many faces, but rarely does it appear in the friendly, grandmotherly guise it has taken over the past week, as thousands of older women have shown up on the streets of the capital, their vigilant eyes eager to ferret out the smallest signs of trouble.

These graying, smiling, energetic women are the most visible sign of the 1.4 million volunteers enlisted to squelch protests, crimes and anything else that could embarrass the ruling Communist Party during its sensitive once-a-decade transition of leadership. . . .

the embodiment of the velvet-glove approach is the collection of older women who turned up last week eager to be sworn in as “Capital Public Security Volunteers.” In all, about 1.4 million security volunteers are at work in Beijing during the party congress, according to state-run media.

“Our duty is to guard our homes and streets and create a deterrent,” explained Zhang Liling, a 68-year-old woman with deep dimples, as she stood with a handful of other women to watch their street corner on the eastern side of Beijing.

After a morning spent with Zhang and others, it is hard not to acknowledge a particular ingenuity to the idea of harnessing the inherent nosiness among some members of this demographic.

Retired with time to spare, the women come to the job with an already highly developed penchant for gossip and zero hesitation about posing prying questions. Throw in free windbreakers and red arm bands that indicate their special status, and you’ve got an instant army of eyes and ears.

“I feel it’s my duty to take on this mission,” said a proud Bao Mianfeng, 62, a former teacher and party member. “No one forced me or any of us into this. It’s something we are happy to do.”

A successful party congress, Bao explained, means “a stronger and more prosperous country.” A stronger country means “one step closer to a well-off society.”

There is something fierce in how she says this, so full of conviction. But it is disorienting, too, hearing her warmth and sweetness in discussing the vital mission of blanket security.

via With a friendly face, China tightens security – The Washington Post.