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·專訪維權律師滕彪對中國法治人權的解讀
·中共的政治株连
·Dictatorship is a Decapitator, Whether it Tortures You or Treats You W
·Innocence project movement in China rises to aid the wrongfully convic
·好處沙龍【選後台灣如何面對中國巨變】
·“你恐惧,中共的目的就达到了”
·SOME QUESTIONS FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA TO ASK PRESIDENT XI
·Book Debate Raises Questions of Self-Censorship by Foreign Groups in C
·Leaked Email: ABA Cancels Book for Fear of ‘Upsetting the Chinese Gov
·Is the ABA Afraid of the Chinese Government?
·Middle way should not be the only voice: Chinese activist to Tibetans
·Middle way not the only way for Tibet, says Chinese rights lawyer
·被曝光的电邮:怕惹恼北京美国律师协会取消出版《黎明前的黑暗》
·美律协违约拒为滕彪出书 国会要求解释
·高智晟:ABA和滕彪哪個更應該強大
·Lawmakers Pounce After ABA Scraps Book by China Rights Lawyer
·American Self-Censorship Association/WSJ
·An interview with China’s foremost rights lawyer Dr Teng Biao
·纽约时报:中国律师新书命运引发在华NGO自我审查争议
·Is China Returning to the Madness of Mao’s Cultural Revolution?
·The Conundrum of Compromise/Robert Precht
·Congress Still Calling Out ABA Over Canceled Book Deal
·No country for academics: Chinese crackdown forces intellectuals abroa
·中共血債大於其他專制國家
·江绪林之死反映中国知识分子精神痛苦唯有自杀寻求解脱
·"THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOME BRAVE ACTIVISTS WHO REFUSE TO KEEP QUIET"
·“你们全家都是共产党员!”
·滕彪和江天勇获第25届杰出民主人士奖
·访滕彪:中国司法何以如此“高效率”
·'China wacht een revolutie, ik hoop een vreedzame'
·Arrestatiegolf China toont angst van regime
·ENTRETIEN AVEC LE DéFENSEUR DES DROITS DE L'HOMME TENG BIAO
·Le Parti communiste chinois est confronté à une série de crises
·英媒:遭受打击 中国知识分子被迫出国
·709 Crackdown/ Front Line Defenders
·Cataloging the Torture of Lawyers in China
·南海仲裁的法理基础及其对中国的政治冲击
·the Comfort of Self-Censorship
·G20前夕美国家安全顾问会晤中国人权人士
·Chinese dissidents urge Obama to press Xi Jinping on human rights at G
·China blocks major civil society groups from monitoring G20 summit
·Open Letter to G20 Leaders attending the 2016 G20 Summit
·自我审查的自我安慰/滕彪
·细雨中的独白——写给十七年
·Rights lawyers publicly shamed by China's national bar association
·沉默的暴行
·中共“长臂”施压 维权律师滕彪妻子被迫离职
·除了革命,中国已经别无道路
·高瑜案件从一开始就是政治操控
·毛式文革与恐怖主义之异同——国内外专家学者访谈
·最高法维护狼牙山五壮士名誉 学者批司法为文宣服务
·滕彪和杨建利投书彭博社 批评美国大选不谈中国人权议题
·“未来关键运动的发起者可能是我们都不认识的人。”
·政治因素杀死了贾敬龙
·中国维权人士在达兰萨拉与藏人探讨“中共的命运”
·黑暗的2016:中国人权更加倒退的一年
·滕彪談廢死
·滕彪:酷刑逼供背後是国家支持的系统性暴力
·在黑暗中尋找光明
·专访滕彪、杨建利:美国新法案 不给人权侵害者发签证
·海内外民主人士促美制裁中国人权迫害者/RFA
·A Joint Statement Upon the Establishment of ‘China Human Rights Accou
·关于成立“中国人权问责中心”的声明
·Group to Probe China's Human Rights Violations Under U.S. Law
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·王臧:极权主义,不止是“地域性灾难”
·Trump has the power to fight China on human rights. Will he use it?
·纪录片《吊照门》
·「吊照门」事件 引发法界震盪
·脸书玩命想进中国/RFA
·中国反酷刑联盟成立公告
·德电台奖冉云飞滕彪获提名
·中国维权律师:风雨中的坚持
·Harassed Chinese rights lawyer still speaking out on Tibetans’ plight
·Beijing Suspends Licenses of 2 Lawyers Who Offered to Defend Tibetans
·VOA连线:中国反酷刑联盟成立,向酷刑说“不”
·Announcement of the Establishment of the China Anti-Torture Alliance
·Chinese Court Upends 13-Year-Old Rape, Murder, Robbery Convictions
·中共迫害律师的前前后后
·Scholars Return to YLS to Discuss Human Rights Advocacy in China
·Abducted Activists
·中国的民间反对运动与维权运动
·Conversation on China’s human rights: Professor provides first hand a
·Exiled Chinese lawyer says the country is moving toward a new totalita
·VOA时事大家谈:抓律师两高人大邀功,保政权司法第一要务
·滕彪讲述被绑架和单独关押的经历
·Chinese human rights lawyer stresses the duty to resist
·山东“刺死辱母者”案,为何引发民意汹涌?/VOA
·关于审查《城市流浪乞讨人员收容遣送办法》的建议书
·Street Vendor’s Execution Stokes Anger in China
·[video]Academic freedom in the East and Southeast
·海外华人学者成立民主转型研究所VOA
·美国律师协会为受难律师高智晟出书/VOA
·郭文貴爆料,為何中國當局反應強烈?
·杨银波:搞滕彪、李和平,我看不过去
·Chinese Rights Lawyer Strikes Back at ABA Over Scuttled Book/WSJ
·China puts leading human rights lawyer on trial for 'inciting subversi
·丧尽天良,709维权律师李和平被灌不明精神药物!
·709案的秘密審訊——酷刑之後,強迫喂藥
·王全璋:被“消失”的中国人权律师
·李和平等709律师被捕期间遭强迫灌药酷刑虐待
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Has Xi Jinping Changed China? Not Really

http://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/viewpoint/has-xi-jinping-changed-china-not-really
   
   Has Xi Jinping Changed China? Not Really
   April 16, 2018
   Teng Biao

   
   Teng Biao is a Visiting Scholar at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at New York University, where his research is focused on the rights defense movement in China. Teng previously was a Lecturer at China、、.
   More
   Xi Jinping has had an eventful early spring. After he abolished presidential term limits and was unanimously elected—if it can be called an election—to serve another term in that post, Xi got the world’s attention again by holding a meeting with Kim Jong-un. Xi was also in the spotlight when he addressed the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia, promising more openness in the face of a looming trade war. Many observers now seem convinced that Xi has changed China and maybe, even, the international order. But has he really?
   
   In the 70 years since the establishment of the Communist regime, numerous changes have taken place in the social, economic, legal, and psychological spheres. Yet the Party’s essential political role of leading a Party-state under strict one-Party rule has not changed, whether under collective dictatorship or a personal one. The Party’s absolute control over the military, judicial system, Congress, and bureaucracy, as well as its suppression of dissidents and activists who promote democracy, has been constant for 70 years. The Party’s control over the media, ideology, public opinion, and education—almost all of the public sphere, with the exception of the Internet—has also undergone no fundamental change. The Party also controls the economy, social groups, and religions. And while market economics, some folk activities, rights defenders, and house churches have managed to carve out a tiny space for themselves, they don’t come close to constituting a challenge to the Party. When measured against the basic ingredients of a totalitarian state as described by Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Xi Jinping’s new totalitarianism and Mao’s old style of totalitarianism don’t differ by all that much.
   
   This year is the 40th anniversary of China’s “reform and opening” policy. While commonly seen as a key step in China’s modernization on the economic front, what reform and opening has really meant is that for 40 years political elites have colluded with businessmen in a Party-controlled, crony capitalist market economy. Under this kleptocratic system, the assets of regular citizens have never been afforded any institutionalized protection. On the ideological front, the Party has monopolized the media, created no-go zones in scholarship, instituted a brainwashing-style education system, established the Great Firewall, and persecuted intellectuals for their writing. On the legal front, the Party has always ridden roughshod over the law. Black jails, forced disappearances, torture, secret police, surveillance, judicial corruption, controlled elections, forced demolitions, and religious persecution have all been rampant. These abuses are a key element in the Party’s system of control. China’s Constitution on paper makes beautiful-sounding promises for human rights and basic freedoms, including a right to vote, equality, freedom of speech, belief, and association. But it’s clear that the Party’s rule of law is merely an empty promise. The Constitution didn’t guide the Party toward a rule-of-law democracy, but as Stein Ringen, a professor at Oxford, has documented, China is adopting a “sophisticated totalitarianism.” This totalitarianism is strict and refined without being brittle and dogmatic; it’s cruel and barbaric without being chaotic. China’s booming economy, social stability, and apparent popular support for Xi have fooled both the world and most Chinese citizens.
   
   Of course, the abolition of the presidential term limit was something Xi Jinping pushed hard for, but he seems to have had few other options. His first term was spent on anti-corruption campaigns, as well as military reform, purging the Internet, and cooking up a cult of personality, all in order to eliminate opposing voices and centralize power around himself. Eliminating Zhou Yongkang; violating the unwritten rules of immunity for Politburo Standing Committee members; getting rid of two former Central Military Commission vice chairmen; taking out potential successor Sun Zhengcai; abducting one of the major bankers for the Party elite, Xiao Jianhua; assuming control over the Deng Xiaoping-clan-linked Anbang conglomerate—all of this is sure to have sent shockwaves through the Communist Party. The “tigers” who were targets of his anti-corruption campaign of course would hate Xi and plot their revenge. It must have been clear to Xi that if he ever lost power, reprisal would be swift. A system of lifetime rule was the obvious solution.
   
   Peering beneath the surface, to deeper historical trends, it seems that for the Communist Party, as an autocratic system, personal dictatorship is a common means of dealing with crises. The Party faced, on the one hand, an accumulation of post-1989 new social energies—in the form of the Internet, the market, the spread of liberal ideas, the rights defense movement—and on the other hand, official corruption, conflicts between officials and citizens, an ecological crisis, a crisis in social morality, and many other crises. For the past several years, the economic dividends China has been able to harvest from favorable demographics, cheap labor, and globalization have been all but exhausted. Economists predict GDP growth will slow. The Communist Party already eliminated democratization—whether gradual or sudden—from its menu of options for responding to crises. And so all it is left with is strengthening centralized power and enhancing the forces of repression.
   
   From the perspective of the Communist Party itself, turning Xi Jinping—who comes from a “red” revolutionary pedigree and is dedicated to the preservation of the “red” dynasty—into a lifetime leader, may very well be a calculated response to the extremely complex circumstances the Party faces in the near future. In 2013, Xi, in alarm and anger, used the phrase “nobody was man enough to stand up and resist,” in reference to the failure of Soviet leaders to prevent the collapse of their communist regime. Five years later, he is now announcing to the world that he will be the one—the grand helmsman—to seize this key historical moment and save the Chinese Communist Party.
   
   The Party’s technical totalitarianism is already beginning to take shape: networked stability maintenance, big data, facial recognition, DNA collection, Party control of the market, strengthening of the secret police, stoking nationalist sentiment, expanded control of the media and Internet, mass arrests of rights activists, a personality cult around the leader. . . Most of these methods are a gradual expansion of what was already emerging under Hu Jintao: the expansion of secret police capabilities, for instance, was becoming an important component in the Party’s overall control of popular opinion and activism. Put another way, Fascism with Chinese Characteristics is now taking form. One Party, one Führer, one Xi Jinping ideology.
   
   Some have called the constitutional amendment to abolish presidential term limits “turning back history.” But a closer look shows that the Communist Party, since it took power in 1949, has always been heading in the opposite direction of the trend of history—Xi Jinping has simply slammed his foot on the gas pedal. Xi’s rein has really not had as far-reaching an influence on Chinese politics, economy, and society as many claim. The biggest impact of Xi Jinping has been primarily psychological: the Chinese public and intellectuals who still harbor illusions about the Communist Party, friends of the regime, and the “panda huggers” in the West—political leaders and experts alike—who have long carried water for the dictatorship under the false assumption that markets and “engagement” policy would inevitably lead to democratization, are now all at something of a loss.

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