Xi Jinping launched his term as Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chief with a directed campaign of propaganda denouncing corruption in the Party, and vowing to crack down on officials who flaunt the rules. But those who took him at his word by, for example, organizing events to encourage the disclosure of officials’ assets, now find themselves under arrest, with rights groups calling for their release.
“When President Xi Jinping calls for a tough response to corruption it’s hailed as innovative policy, but when ordinary people say the same in public, his government regards it as subversion,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, in a June 9 press release. “The fight against graft and for the rule of law rest in part on respect for freedom of expression and assembly, not the suppression of those rights.”
Since late March over a dozen activists against corruption, and in favor of rules stipulating that officials must disclose their assets, have been detained, and ten have been formally charged and will probably be prosecuted and convicted, Human Rights Watch said.
President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption efforts have been largely cosmetic, discouraging extravagance and purging some high-ranking officials, but Chinese citizens want more substantive change. …