Media Summary: Chinese Authorities Crack Down on Dissent in Run-up to the 4th Plenary of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party

July 15, 2005

Several media sources have carried reports regarding the Chinese government’s crackdown on dissent in the run-up to the Fourth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party, which convened on September 16 and concluded on September 19:

  • The South China Morning Post (subscription required) reported that on September 13 authorities shut down the popular yitahutu chat room ( run by Beijing University students. According to the SCMP, chat room operators said authorities had warned them about political discussions and that a massive crackdown was launched last month to ban such messages.
  • Human Rights in China and AFP reported that Yan Zhengxue, a well-known artist and dissident, was detained by officials from the Zhejiang Province State Security Department on September 14 after he submitted documents at the People's Court in Taizhou city to sue the heads of the ministry of public security and Zhejiang public security bureau.
  • Citing China Labor Watch AFP reported that Li Guotao was arrested on September 14 in Shanghai as he was preparing a petition requesting an end to "re-education through labour" camps. The New York Times reported that Li was being held under house arrest, and that Dai Xuewu, who has also spent time in labor camps for political activism, said police detained him and a friend when they went to Li’s apartment on Friday, and that Li told them police were investigating him for disseminating offensive information.
  • On September 16 the Epoch Times (in Chinese) reported that the Communist Party Central Propaganda Department had issued 30 internal orders to China’s state-run media outlets requiring them to publish certain stories, and censor others, in order to create an atmosphere beneficial to the fourth plenum.