Skip to comments.China’s Challenge
Posted on 11/10/2012 6:54:39 PM PST by JerseyanExile
As China holds its 18th National Congress this week, with the Communist Party preparing for a once-in-a-decade transition of power, the nation looks superficially exultant. Ethnic-minority delegates clad in their cultural garb smile and wave to photographers; pretty girls throng paramilitary policemen in immaculate green suits; red and yellow plastic flowers abound. Meanwhile, in the provinces, chubby-cheeked kindergartners dress up in Red Army uniforms and sing old Communist songs, and university students line up to form the Communist hammer and sickle. All very good photo ops.
But Chinas blogosphere tells a different story, describing a jittery, paranoid Chinese leadership. The Mandarin word for 18th Party Congress shrr-ba-da sounds a lot like Sparta, some Chinese netizens have quipped, and thats roughly the mood in Beijing this week.
There, cab drivers have been instructed to child-lock their rear doors and remove the window handles altogether to prevent passengers from throwing out subversive pamphlets. (In a city where impoverished drivers often work, sleep, and eat in their taxis, many passengers are now complaining about strong odors in cabs.) Meanwhile, balloons, pet pigeons, ping-pong balls, and remote-control airplanes have all been identified as possible security risks. Heavy censorship has frustratingly slowed the Internet, even for those with virtual private networks. And its even become hard for Beijingers to buy a kitchen knife or pencil sharpener from local shops.
These security precautions are extreme, even for National Congresses. But theyre also entirely understandable.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...