Chinese Communist Party Bans Members from Opinions 'Inconsistent' with the Party
The Communist Party of China (CPC) revised restrictions on what its members are allowed to say in public in a set of regulations published on Monday, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.
“A member of the party must not publicly express opinions that are inconsistent with decisions made by the central leadership,” reads Article 16 of the revised regulations, which concerns safeguarding the rights of the CPC’s 92 million members.
The regulation’s wording was altered from a similar clause banning the public expression of opinions that are the “opposite of” the party leadership’s decisions.
“Article 11 of the new rules stipulates that while party members are entitled to report misconduct by other members, including those who hold a higher rank, they must not disseminate such information at will and must not do so on the internet,” according to the Hong Kong-based newspaper.
The original version of the article contained similar wording but did not single out “the internet” as a prohibited means of dissemination.
“Party members are encouraged to report misconduct to the party’s circuit inspection teams,” according to the SCMP.
The inspection teams ostensibly investigate allegations of corruption within the party and have brought down several senior CPC officials in recent years.
Additional CPC rule revisions published on Monday “stipulate that work-related mistakes will no longer be treated as discipline violations,” according to the report, indicating that party members were previously punished for their work blunders.
Monday’s revisions to the CPC’s regulations officially incorporate references to “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” the name for Chinese dictator and CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping’s socialist ideology. Known simply as “Xi Jinping Thought,” the philosophy’s precepts are included in the CPC constitution and were written into the Chinese state constitution in 2018.
Chinese state media praised the CPC’s revised regulations on Monday, according to the SCMP, “saying they represented progress in protecting the political rights of party members.”
“The amended party rules, which include new guidelines on access to information and how to handle internal complaints, were described by state media as ‘boosting democracy within the party,'” according to the report.
People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the CPC’s central committee, published an op-ed by Wang Qishan in 2014 in which the then-leader of the party’s anti-corruption body argued that joining the CPC meant sacrificing certain rights and freedoms.
“Senior Party officials need to waive more as they shoulder greater responsibilities,” the politician said in the November 2014 article. Wang is now vice president of the People’s Republic of China.