Wednesday, December 31, 2014

China in 2014 - Repression, protests, terrorism & purges

2014 saw President Xi Jinping forcefully drive China towards being an economic and geopolitical superpower. However, Xi has also brought with him a new authoritarianism, crushing further human rights in the country [tvnewswatch]. 

2014 was marred by several terror attacks. In March, a group of knife-wielding men attacked commuters at Kunming railway station, killing 31 people and wounding 141 [tvnewswatch]. More terror attacks followed throughout the year including an attack on an Urumqi market in May which left 31 dead [Wikipedia / tvnewswatch]. It was in essence the beginning of China's own War on Terror [tvnewswatch]. The attacks prompted an increased security response especially in the capital Beijing [tvnewswatch].

May saw the FBI indict five Chinese military personnel for computer hacking [tvnewswatch].

Security tightened in the run up to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre [tvnewswatch]. 

In July, China finally confirmed the widely-anticipated news that former security chief Zhou Yongkang was being investigated for "serious disciplinary violations". He was later arrested and expelled from the Communist Party [BBC]. August saw China tightening policies over the use of foreign tech, banning government departments from using Windows 8 and foreign anti-virus software [tvnewswatch]. There was increased censorship throughout 2014 which culminated in almost total block on Google services [tvnewswatch]. 2014 was also a year of protest with weeks of demonstrations in Hong Kong calling for universal suffrage [tvnewswatch]. The protests eventually dwindled with no clear winners, though Beijing was certainly rattled [tvnewswatch].

[Other reports: BBC / NPR / Guardian / CNN]

tvnewswatch, London, UK

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