New resolution by Chinese Communist Party to strangle dissent, freedom of expression
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Monday introduced new rules that banned cadres from expressing opinions and dissenting views from its own ranks, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).
Jun Mai, writing for SCMP, stated that the revised rule book said that cadres can make complaints about their superiors but was prohibited from airing them in public and were also banned from expressing opinions that are ‘not consistent’ with the decisions of the central leadership.
The new rules also officially incorporate references to Xi Jinping’s “Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era”, as the leader’s ideology is officially known - a concept that has already been written into the constitution, reported SCMP.
The new rules were issued just six months ahead of the Communist Party’s centenary in July and mark an attempt to inject new life into the party rule book which was last updated 16 years ago.
The new rule book made clear that the party that has about 92 million members will not tolerate dissenting views from its own ranks.
“A member of the party must not publicly express opinions that are inconsistent with decisions made by the central leadership,” said Article 16 of the revised regulations on safeguarding the rights of party members, reported SCMP.
Article 11 of the new rules stipulate that while party members are entitled to report misconduct by other members, including those who hold a higher rank, they must not disseminate such information at will and must not do so on the internet, reported SCMP.
State media hailed the revised regulations, which came into effect in 1995 and were amended nine years later. The amended party rules were described by state media as ‘boosting democracy within the party’.
However, Wang Qishan in an article published in People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, in 2014, then the party’s top corruption buster and now vice-president, argued that joining the Communist Party means voluntarily giving up certain rights and freedoms.
The amended regulations were published on the first working day after the New Year break of 2021, a year that carries tremendous political significance for Beijing as CCP is planning extensive celebrations in the run-up to its centenary celebrations on July 1.