Preserve Stability — but at what cost?

The Chinese leadership has long argued that it must maintain stability in the country. To do so, of course, means controlling the media and any civic group that might spring up.

The problem is that because the people know the government will only allow”good news” or only information it wants publicized, they — the people — end up relying on rumors and word of mouth (text to text?) The result is transmission of less accurate information and more instability.

Qian Gang has a very good analysis of the “Preserving Stability” meme at China Media Project.

Over time, the phrase “stability preservation” has been used with greater regularity in the Chinese media. From June 1989 to July 2012, there were three peaks in the use of the phrase. The first was in 1990, the year after the Tiananmen crackdown. The second came in 1999, as the Party launched a concerted campaign against the Falun Gong religious sect. Finally, there was peak in use in 2009, which marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

 

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Filed under Censorship, China

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