Understanding the Chinese Police State — Thoughts Towards a Reading List

First of all,  I would recommend  Stein Ringen’s  2016 book The Perfect Dictatorship — China in the 21st Century is a fine overview and analysis of China as a police state.

Less comprehensive works focusing on a particular aspect of the police state could include

There has been great hope in both China and the West that China will gradually evolve in a democratic direction. Article One in the PRC Constitution is an obstacle to that could be used to justify nearly anything in the name of protecting ‘socialism’.     http://en.people.cn/constitution/constitution.html

Article 1. The People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants. The socialist system is the basic system of the People’s Republic of China. Sabotage of the socialist system by any organization or individual is prohibited.

There are many brave people who stand up or have stood up to state repression.  If people like this do not respond to warnings, pressure is ratcheted up to include police beatings and arbitrary detention.  Relatives including children, friends and co-workers  may be harassed, fired, or lose their opportunity to get an education in order to pressure them to put pressure on the target of state political pressure.

There is a vigorous exile Chinese-language media in the West.  Some of them worked as journalists in China before (see He Qinglian’s book for information on the constraints they worked under) .  Angered by their own suffering at the hands of the Chinese regime and having suffered themselves been trained within the Party-run journalism-propaganda complex, they are often not as careful about cross-checking using multiple independent sources as the best professional journalists in verifying information.

Chinese ‘news’ often circulates as often rumor because of heavy censorship.  Sometimes true, often false, with many exiles and exile media finding any negative information about the Chinese Communist Party very plausible.  Of course the regime is not evil all the time.  Even when the Chinese Communist Party and PRC state do good things, they don’t get credit for it because censorship and repression severely reduces their credibility.

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About 高大伟 David Cowhig

Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
This entry was posted in Law 法律, Media 媒体, National Security 安全, Politics 政治, Society 社会 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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