- Compared to the “Anti-Rightist Movement” of the Maoist era, what groups are included in China’s new “rightists” today?
- The term “rightists” in China has changed its meaning and scope over time. In the Maoist era, the “Anti-Rightist Movement” targeted mainly intellectuals, writers, journalists, scholars, and other critics of the Communist Party who were accused of favoring capitalism, democracy, or liberalism over socialism and Maoism. Many of them were sent to labor camps, prisons, or remote areas for “re-education”.
- Today, China’s new “rightists” are not limited to intellectuals, but also include various groups and individuals who challenge the party’s monopoly on power, ideology, and information. They may advocate for human rights, democracy, rule of law, religious freedom, ethnic autonomy, environmental protection, or market reforms. They may also express dissenting opinions on social media, join protests or civil society organizations, or expose corruption or abuses by the authorities.
- These groups and individuals face various forms of persecution by the Chinese authorities, such as censorship, harassment, intimidation, detention, torture, imprisonment, or forced disappearance. The government also tries to silence their voices abroad by using its economic and diplomatic influence to pressure foreign governments, companies, universities, and media outlets to comply with its demands.