The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications, a branch of China’s main media regulator, recently announced a new crackdown on pornographic online content, a measure the Global Times notes is essential for China’s “cyber development.” But “Cleaning the Web 2014” has little to do with porn, and much to do with bolstering the Party’s new media influence.
Perry Link: In China in the 1980s, the word renquan (“human rights”) was extremely “sensitive.” Few dared even to utter it in public, let alone to champion the concept. Now, nearly three decades later, even people at the lowest levels of society demand their rights. No one brought about this dramatic change single-handedly, but arguably no one did more to get it started than Fang Lizhi, the Chinese astrophysicist, activist, and dissident, who died a year ago. We were friends for many years; here are eight of my favorite memories of him.
Photo of Fang Lizhi by Forrest Anderson/Getty Images
Read more about Fang Lizhi from China Digital Times.
The Internet didn’t have the subversive power that was so feared when it first arrived. Instead, it had become a tool to serve the powers that be.