By JBS Staff
Published: 2007-10-01 05:00
New American: Citing the need for political and social stability and security, the Chinese government announced on September 9 a stepped-up crackdown on “criminals” and regime critics.
Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang was quoted on the government’s official website as telling a meeting of the ministry’s party branch: “All should heavily boost surveillance, prevention, and severely attack hostile forces at home and abroad.” Zhou specified enemies as “ethnic separatists, religious extremists, violent terrorist forces,” and the Falun Gong exercise and meditation movement that China has banned as an “evil cult.”
“Ensuring a harmonious, stable social climate for the opening of the Party’s 17th congress is at present the primary major issue for public security organs across the nation,” Zhou said, referring to the Communist Party Congress, which begins on October 15. The Party Congress meets twice a decade to set policy priorities for the next five years.
Numerous news stories in the Asian and world press have documented the increased incidence of arrests of Chinese citizens for posting remarks critical of government policies and officials on Internet websites, or even sending innocuous satirical e-mail or cellphone text messages that communist censors consider treasonous.