Regime uses Covid-19 to clamp down even more
By relying on the extensive use of new technology, President Xi Jinping has succeeded in imposing The Chinese authorities have tightened their grip on news and information even more since the emergence of Covid-19. Seven journalists are still being held for their coverage of the pandemic and more than 450 social media users were briefly arrested for sharing “false rumours” about the virus. In 2021, China continues to be the world’s biggest jailer of press freedom defenders, with more than 120 currently detained, often in conditions that pose a threat to their lives. Kunchok Jinpa, a leading media source of information about Tibet, died in February 2021 as a result of mistreatment in prison, just as Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel peace laureate and winner of the RSF Press Freedom Prize, and Yang Tongyan, a dissident blogger, did in 2017. By relying on the massive use of new technology, President Xi Jinping’s regime has imposed a social model based on control of news and information and online surveillance of its citizens. China’s state and privately-owned media are under the Communist Party’s ever-tighter control, while the administration creates more and more obstacles for foreign reporters. At the same time, Beijing is trying to export its oppressive model by promoting a “new world media order” under China’s influence.
177 in 2020
78.48 in 2020