President of the People’s Republic of China since 14th March 2013
General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party since 15th November 2012
Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 14th March 2013
Predator since 2013
China 177th/180 in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index
PREDATORY METHOD: Void of restraint
When Xi Jinping, whose family was a victim of the Cultural Revolution, took the mantle of leadership in 2013, one could expect he would be a harbinger of liberal reforms in China. On the contrary, he further tightened the regime’s grip on news and information, restoring, in just a few years, a media culture comparable with the Maoist era. By relying on the extensive use of new technology, Xi has imposed a social model based on censorship, propaganda and surveillance. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), an entity personally supervised by Xi, prevents China's one billion internet users from freely receiving and imparting independent information. State media must not just follow the Party’s leadership, but must also “reflect the Party’s will, safeguard its authority and its unity”. The smartphone application Study Xi, Power Country, mandatory since 2019 for journalists to download, does not only allow the regime to test their loyalty, but may also be used to apply surveillance over their phones. Under Xi, the harassment of foreign correspondents and their sources has also reached new heights. While abroad, the regime goes to great lengths to promote and export its oppressive model.
FAVOURITE TARGETS: Those who stray from the narrative
OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: Paternalistic indoctrination
“The media run by the party and the government are propaganda fronts and must have the Party as their family name” (Speech pronounced by Xi Jinping on 19th of February 2016, during an inspection tour of the state media).
“They must love the party, protect the party, and closely align themselves with the party leadership in thought, politics and action,” (Referring to journalists working for CCTV, Xinhua News Agency, People’s Daily newspaper, February 2016 ).