China Regroups to Snuff Out a Wave of Covid Protests

china regroups to snuff out a wave of covid protests

After China experienced its boldest and most widespread protests in decades, defying Xi Jinping, a Communist Party leader who prizes his reputation for ironclad authority, his security apparatus is scrambling to reassert control. Public security personnel and vehicles have blanketed potential protest sites. Police officers are searching some residents’ phones for prohibited apps. Officials are going to the homes of would-be protesters to warn them against illegal activities and are taking some away for questioning. Censors are scrubbing protest symbols and slogans from social media. On Monday, the demonstrations were…

At a China Covid Protest, a Mix of Giddy Elation and Anxiety

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BEIJING — The crowd was hard to make out at first, a dark mass huddled along the Beijing riverbank after sunset. They stood quietly, almost nervously, dozens of people bundled in thick coats beside yellowed willow trees. At their center was a small altar, strewn with candles and flowers, for the 10 people who died in a fire in western China last week. Two hours later, that crowd had swelled into the hundreds, a mass of people marching and chanting for freedom, rule of law, an end to the three…

Putin’s War on Information Is Far From Over

The info war has also reached Asia, Africa and South America, where Russia has mobilized diplomats and state-controlled media like the global RT network to press its case. The goal isn’t necessarily to win support, but to keep unaligned countries on the sidelines. While some countries, most notably China, have taken Russia’s side, others, like India, have avoided antagonizing Russia so as not to lose Russian military or energy contracts. Many others have done so simply because they know and care little about Ukraine. Russia’s line to them is that…

Musk’s Ties to China Could Create Headaches for Twitter

SAN FRANCISCO — When Elon Musk opened a Tesla factory in Shanghai in 2019, the Chinese government welcomed him with billions of dollars’ worth of cheap land, loans, tax breaks and subsidies. “I really think China is the future,” Mr. Musk cheered. Tesla’s road since then has been lucrative, with a quarter of the company’s revenue in 2021 coming from China, but not without problems. The firm faced a consumer and regulatory revolt in China last year over manufacturing flaws. With his deal to take over Twitter, Mr. Musk’s ties…

How China Embraces Russian Propaganda and Its Version of the War

Hours after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, the Chinese Communist Party tabloid, Global Times, posted a video saying that a large number of Ukrainian soldiers had laid down their arms. Its source: the Russian state-controlled television network, RT. Two days later, China’s state broadcaster Central Television Station (CCTV) flashed a breaking news alert, quoting Russia’s parliamentary speaker, that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine had fled Kyiv. CCTV then created a related hashtag on the Twitter-like platform Weibo that was viewed 510 million times and used by 163 media outlets…

How Beijing Has Muted Hong Kong’s Independent Media

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HONG KONG — Citizen News, a small online news site in Hong Kong known for its in-depth coverage of courts and local politics, said it would stop publishing on Monday night, deepening concerns about the collapse of the city’s once-robust media. Just days earlier, another independent online media outlet, Stand News, closed after hundreds of police raided its offices and arrested seven people. Two former senior editors at Stand News and the publication itself were charged with conspiracy to publish seditious materials. The latest closures are the final chapters in…

Hu Xijin, Chief of China’s Global Times, Will Retire

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During the presidential administration of Donald J. Trump, Mr. Hu would often work late, firing off rejoinders at the U.S. president’s tweets. Other Chinese diplomats and state media journalists followed, taking to American social media platforms blocked in China to hit back at Beijing’s critics. In the process, they have at times stirred international controversy and inflamed relations with other countries. Growing up in Beijing, Mr. Hu was not always the picture of party loyalty. As a Russian literature graduate student in 1989, he joined the crowds of pro-democracy protesters…

Ahead of Biden’s Democracy Summit, China Says: We’re Also a Democracy

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BEIJING — As President Biden prepares to host a “summit for democracy” this week, China has counterattacked with an improbable claim: It’s a democracy, too. No matter that the Communist Party of China rules the country’s 1.4 billion people with no tolerance for opposition parties; that its leader, Xi Jinping, rose to power through an opaque political process without popular elections; that publicly calling for democracy in China is punished harshly, often with long prison sentences. “There is no fixed model of democracy; it manifests itself in many forms,” the…

Why Peng Shuai Frustrates China’s Propaganda Machine

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The Chinese government has become extremely effective in controlling what the country’s 1.4 billion people think and talk about. But influencing the rest of the world is a different matter, as Peng Shuai has aptly demonstrated. Chinese state media and its journalists have offered one piece of evidence after another to prove the star Chinese tennis player was safe and sound despite her public accusation of sexual assault against a powerful former vice premier. One Beijing-controlled outlet claimed it obtained an email she wrote in which she denied the accusations.…

U.S. and China Agree to Ease Restrictions on Journalists

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WASHINGTON — The United States and China announced an agreement on Tuesday to ease restrictions on foreign journalists operating in the two countries, tempering a diplomatic confrontation that led to the expulsion of some American reporters from China during the last year of the Trump administration. The deal was first reported by China Daily, a newspaper controlled by the Chinese government, and later confirmed by a statement issued from the State Department. Under the agreement, made public just a day after President Biden met with President Xi Jinping of China,…