People's Daily: Cautions on WeChat
― In an article on page five of the Chinese Communist Party's official People's Daily newspaper today, new media expert Xu Danei (徐达内) addresses the benefits and disadvantages of the WeChat platform, focusing on the conversations happening in private chatrooms. The piece, which begins by enumerating the new conveniences offered by WeChat, quickly moves on to the risks -- rumours and unverified information. It concludes: "Of course, Tencent has been advancing the platform all along, with the reporting and complaints function on the backend constantly improving. Recently, the 'original content' label (原创标签) has also been tested, and can be seen as a further effort at advancement on Tencent's part. I'm sure that as a mature internet company, it can continue to do better and better."
SIIO Director Lu Wei: Choice Quotes on Internet Controls
― On October 30, 2014, at a press conference ahead of the World Internet Conference in Zhejiang, State Internet Information Office head Lu Wei (鲁炜) -- the hardline internet chief that lead the crackdown on the "Big V" account holders on Sina Weibo in 2013 -- was asked why sites like Facebook were shut down in China. He responded: "I haven’t used these websites [like Facebook] before, and I don’t know whether or not they’ve been shut down. But as to there being some websites that cannot be visited, I think this is situation probably exists. However, I want to say that our management [of the web] is all done according to the law, and all of the measures we take are to protect China’s national security and the rights Chinese consumers in accord with the law." Lu also used the metaphor of the home to explain China's information restrictions: "Your websites are in your home. How can I shut down shut down sites in your home? China is friendly, but it has a choice on which guests can visit."
Xinhua Releases Full Version of "Decision" from the 4th Plenum
― Here is a full version from the official Xinhua News Agency of the "Decision" on "rule of the country according to the law" issued from the 4th Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the CCP. It begins: "In order to implement the Party's strategic deployments at the 18th National Congress and accelerate the building of a socialist nation governed by rule of law, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee issues the following decision after researching the comprehensive advancement of the major issue of ruling the nation by law." China Copyright and Media has done a full translation of the "decision" in English, available here: http://bit.ly/1tfQ4Rn
Xinhua Commentary: "Let Faith in Rule of Law Put Roots Down in the People's Hearts"
― In a commentary posted to the internet late this afternoon, and said to reflect the "spirit" of the recent Fourth Plenum, China's official Xinhua News Agency said that "the authority of the law lies in its being truly believed and treasured in the hearts of the people." The commentary said there was a need to foster widespread "faith" in the law among both leaders and ordinary people. At one point the commentary even used the word "citizens," or gongmin (公民), which has grown somewhat less common in state media over the past year as it is associated with the idea of "civil society." The Xinhua piece said: "Of all laws the most important laws are not those engraved on marble or etched in copper, but those inscribed on the hearts of citizens."
Xi Jinping: Thoroughly Promoting Governing of the Nation By Law Also Requires Deepening Reforms
― Topping most major internet sites in China today (presumably by order) as well as the People's Daily, an official news release summarizes an "important speech" made by President Xi Jinping yesterday at a Work Group on the Deepening of Reform. In the speech Xi sought to integrate that objectives of the recent Fourth Plenum with the decision on deepening reform introduced at the Third Plenum. He emphasizes that the promotion of "rule of the nation according to the law (依法治国), the focus of the Fourth Plenum "decision," is a critical step in the deepening of reforms in China.