Political virii in China

October 13, 2004, [MD]

A Survey of Chinese Peasants is a book that was released while I was in China, and created a huge stir. Originally it was meant to be banned, but somehow the book, which is hugely critical of the communist party - but mostly the power-abusive local cadres in rural villages - made it out in the book stands. Probably it was local maneuvring by progressive factions of the communist party which managed to get it published, and thereby secure some leverage (the CCP is highly factionalized and interesting things can come out of this fact). However, as Peking Duck and the Age points out, it was later banned again, before the Party Congress.

I actually did a paper on this book, which was my final project for Chinese at Lund University, where I discussed whether the book was an attack on the communist party in itself, or just “rotten” corrupt parts of it (and came to the conclusion that it was mostly the latter). Anyhow, the book has become quite well known in China, the full text is available in China from a number of bulletin boards (like here). Finally - East South West Northis reporting that there is a computer virus circulating that spreads the web address of the book, with messages such as:

“We’re meeting tonight at a newly opened pub. There is a review at http://www.xx78p.com. Don’t forget to call me.”

“The list of the ten countries that are most threatening to China as listed at http://www.xx78p.com.”

Interesting way of spreading political propaganda!


Stian Håklev October 13, 2004 Toronto, Canada
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