China Controls Speech and Thought More Than Ever

China Controls Speech and Thought More Than Ever

( – People living in the United States can take for granted their right to freedom of speech. While Americans live every day being able to express their feelings against the government and other establishments, some might forget that not everyone in the world enjoys that luxury.

Free Speech in the US

America’s Founding Fathers enshrined the right to free speech in the US Constitution’s First Amendment. In the United States, free speech doesn’t end with individual freedoms; it extends to businesses and reporting agencies. Free media means that the press can share both negative and positive news about a sitting government without the worry of being shut down. The same goes for businesses that dislike certain policies.

Everyone and every establishment in the United States has the right to speak against the American government. People are allowed to protest as long as they do so peacefully and without harm or destruction of property. The US Constitution also grants an individual’s right to follow the religion of their choosing.

Chinese Contrast

China has rapidly risen to become one of the world’s biggest economies. However, the communist country doesn’t offer its citizens some of the luxuries enjoyed by Americans like the rights to free speech, assembly, and freedom of the press. In China, the state runs most (and by some accounts all) of the country’s media organizations as part of an ongoing effort to ensure one-sided coverage, aimed at putting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in a positive light.

Unlike in the US, where everyone can speak against the government, China makes it a privilege granted only to members of its upper class and some famous individuals. However, they can only do so under strict government control in the form of censorship. China’s control over its media offers a stark comparison to their Western counterparts, where officials filter very little media.

More Dangerous Than Initially Thought

China’s Communist leader, Xi Jinping and the CCP have put themselves into the position of promoting transnational repression, according to Freedom House, a private organization based in the United States. The group has reported 214 incidents, beginning in 2014, with China attacking people in 36 countries to suppress outside criticism.

The attacks range from physical assaults in Canada to abductions in Thailand. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has called students in Australia and the UK, threatening them. Some students have even been the victims of cyberattacks. The majority of these incidents have been to intimidate or harass the victims, who are often exiles or activists.

The PRC also indirectly threatens their targets’ families, reminding people outside the country’s borders that their loved ones in China are still fair game. Even in other countries, many Chinese citizens feel the weight of the threat when they attempt to cross the Chinese government.

How much more can the CCP or PRC control outside its borders? What sort of influence does the communist regime have on the rest of the world?

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