The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) prepared for its 100th-anniversary celebration in July by setting up a hotline for citizens to report “historical nihilists” who dare to complain about the Party online.
Chinese law makes it possible to jail anyone who speaks ill of the Party or its designated heroes.
Reuters quoted a notice from the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the authoritarian regime’s top Internet-control bureaucracy, announcing a “tip line” for faithful Communist citizens to report anyone who tries to “deny the excellence of advanced socialist culture” with online posts:
“Some with ulterior motives … have been spreading historical nihilistic misrepresentations online, maliciously distorting, denigrating and negating the history of the party,” said the notice.
“We hope that the majority of internet users will actively play their part in supervising society … and enthusiastically report harmful information,” it said.
“Historical nihilism” is a phrase used in China to describe public doubt and scepticism over the Chinese Communist party’s description of past events.
China has imposed all manner of laws forbidding criticism of the CCP or disagreement with the Party’s official version of history. Many of these laws have been promulgated or tightened around important dates, such as the anniversary of the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square, a forbidden subject for Chinese citizens to discuss. Frank discussions of China’s forced labor policies and disagreements with China’s dishonest history of the coronavirus pandemic are also likely to be classified as “historical nihilism” by the operators of the new snitch line.
The CCP hopes to make its centennial on July 1 a major propaganda event, with an emphasis on China’s “historic achievements” under dictator Xi Jinping. The party now claims it has almost 92 million members, making it “the largest Marxist ruling party in the world.” Absolute loyalty to the CCP, its ideology, and its version of history will be a major theme of the anniversary event.