A list of Seven Perils has been circulating in a memo among China’s communist elite, and outlines the biggest perceived threats to the Party’s power. Surprise! “Western Constitutional Democracy” tops the list at number one, and human rights, press freedom, and criticisms of the Party’s history are close behind.
The list has been dubbed “Document No.9,” and the assumed author is Mr. Xi Jinping himself. The New York Times has seen a version of the document, and reports:
Opponents of one-party rule, it says, “have stirred up trouble about disclosing officials’ assets, using the Internet to fight corruption, media controls and other sensitive topics, to provoke discontent with the party and government.”
The warnings were not idle. Since the circular was issued, party-run publications and Web sites have vehemently denounced constitutionalism and civil society, notions that were not considered off limits in recent years. […]
“Promotion of Western constitutional democracy is an attempt to negate the party’s leadership,” Cheng Xinping, a deputy head of propaganda for Hengyang, a city in Hunan, told a gathering of mining industry officials. Human rights advocates, he continued, want “ultimately to form a force for political confrontation.” […]
“Western anti-China forces led by the United States have joined in one after the other, and colluded with dissidents within the country to make slanderous attacks on us in the name of so-called press freedom and constitutional democracy,” said Zhang Guangdong, a propaganda official in Lianyungang, citing the conclusions from the meeting of central propaganda officials.
The Times has noted that Xi’s anti-Western stance has alienated many Chinese liberals, while reigniting the flame of China’s old communists and modern leftists.