amw (amw) wrote,

Why i am leaving China after 3 years.

July 2017, Nobel prize winner Liu Xiaobo dies in detention, discussion on social media, including private messages, is blocked
July 2017, government bans gay content in online videos (following a television ban from one year earlier)
September 2017, anti-censorship activist Zhen Jianghua is arrested
September 2017, government passes law to make disrespecting the national anthem a crime punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment
October 2017, activist Zhang Guanghong is arrested for a message shared on a private WhatsApp group
November 2017, government evicts entire neighborhoods of "low end population" (i.e. migrant workers) from Beijing
December 2017, government censors discussion of "low end population" on social media
December 2017, Steam Community computer game discussion forums is blocked
January 2018, government bans display of tattoos in the media, censors them on existing shows
January 2018, government bans hip-hop performers from appearing on television after smash success of hip-hop reality show Rap of China (it would return 6 months later in a more patriotic format)
January 2018, government censors discusson of sexual harassment and Me Too movement on social media
March 2018, government removes term limits for Xi Jinping, all critical discussion on social media is censored
April 2018, popular working class social media app Neihan Duanzi is banned for vulgarity
July 2018, government threatens sanctions against foreign airlines who do not rename Taiwan to "Taiwan, China", all of them comply
July 2018, biggest actor in the country Fan Bingbing is disappeared (she would return 3 months later to apologize for tax evasion)
July 2018, 14 Jasic Technology workers are arrested for trying to form a union
July 2018, dissident Qin Yongmin is sentenced to 13 more years of prison, his first imprisonment was in 1981
August 2018, tens of labor and student activists protesting in solidarity with Jasic workers are disappeared, Yue Xin and Zhang Shengye never resurface
August 2018, government pulls popular danmei (boys' love) drama Guardian from broadcast (it would return 3 months later with gay content cut)
August 2018, Reddit joins the long list of foreign social media websites blocked in China
August 2018, Taiwanese coffee chain 85°C is scrubbed from delivery apps and made to apologise after Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen visits a location in LA
October 2018, Muslim restaurants across the country are made to remove halal signage
October 2018, popular live-streamer Yang Kaili is arrested for insulting the national anthem
November 2018, danmei author Liu and her editor are sentenced to 10 years in prison
December 2018, Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are arrested in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei CFO in Vancouver
December 2018, left-wing student activist Qiu Zhanxuan is disappeared
January 2019, government bans men wearing earrings in the media, censors them on existing shows
January 2019, human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang is retroactively sentenced to 4.5 years in prison, after being detained since 2015
January 2019, activist Liu Feiyue is sentenced to 5 years in prison, after being detained since 2016
February 2019, Taiwanese computer game Devotion is removed from sale worldwide for including an easter egg insulting Xi Jinping
April 2019, human rights lawyer and party critic Chen Jiahong is arrested
May 2019, danmei author Tang Xin is fined and sentenced to 4 years in prison, booksellers get 3 years
May 2019, government pressures Hong Kong lawmakers to vote for controversial extradition law that sparked massive protests in the city
May 2019, Y Combinator-backed discussion forum Hackernews is blocked
May 2019, all languages of Wikipedia are blocked (Chinese language already blocked since 2015)
June 2019, The Guardian and Washington Post join the long list of foreign news media blocked in China
June 2019, after a month-long censorship campaign, state media finally comments on Hong Kong protests, blames "foreign forces"
July 2019, arts student Luo Daiqing is arrested in Wuhan for Twitter posts made while studying abroad
July 2019, citizen journalist Huang Qi is sentenced to 12 years in prison, after being detained since 2016
July 2019, activist Ji Sizun dies in detention, after 2014 arrest for supporting Occupy Hong Kong movement
August 2019, government official suggests Hong Kong protestors are terrorists
August 2019, government threatens to ban Cathay Pacific from mainland China if they do not release details of their employees' political leanings, Cathay Pacific complies
August 2019, NBA broadcasts are stopped after the GM of a team shows solidarity with Hong Kong protestors
August 2019, government bans "unpatriotic" period dramas and reality shows for 100 days
October 2019, government bans South Park after an episode about censorship, scrubs videos from the internet
October 2019, Blizzard suspends pro gamer for showing solidarity with Hong Kong protestors, two presenters are also fired
October 2019, Me Too activist Sophia Huang Xueqin is arrested
December 2019, human rights lawyer Tan Yongpei is arrested calling for the release of Chen Jiahong
December 2019, multiple doctors trying to sound the alarm about a new SARS outbreak are arrested
January 2020, Xi Jinping is claimed to be at the helm of the coronavirus response, lets millions travel for 2-3 more weeks before locking down, blames subsequent outbreak on local officials
February 2020, government erects barricades around all working class neighborhoods, implements checkpoints and curfew
February 2020, citizen journalists Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin reporting on coronavirus are disappeared
February 2020, citizen journalist Li Zehua reporting on coronavirus is arrested and held for 2 months
February 2020, academic and Xi Jinping critic Xu Zhangrun is placed under house arrest
February 2020, civil rights lawyer Xu Zhiyong is arrested
February 2020, activist Guo Quan is arrested for commenting on coronavirus response
Feburary 2020, author and publisher Gui Minhai who was disappeared in 2015 and had his Swedish citizenship stripped in 2018 is finally sentenced to 10 years in prison
March 2020, fan fic website AO3 is blocked
March 2020, government official spreads conspiracy theory that coronavirus originated in America
March 2020, government revokes press credentials of reporters from the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall St Journal
March 2020, student Zhang Wenbin is disappeared after calling for Xi Jinping to step down
April 2020, whistleblower Li Wenliang who died in February is rebranded by the government as a Communist martyr
April 2020, former academic and party critic Chen Zhaozhi is arrested
April 2020, real estate tycoon and party critic Ren Zhiqiang is arrested
April 2020, celebrity blogger and party critic Liu Yanli is sentenced to 4 years in prison
April 2020, Chen Mei, Cai Wei and Xiao Tang who reposted censored articles on Github site Terminus 2049 are disappeared
April 2020, Github site nCov Memory, where people posted personal accounts of the lockdown, self-censors to protect the contributors
April 2020, activist Xie Wenfei is arrested for commenting on the disappearance of the Terminus 2049 trio
April 2020, journalist Chen Jieren is sentenced to 15 years in prison, after spending 2 years in detention
April 2020, black migrants in Guangzhou are evicted from their homes, banned from hotels/restaurants and detained by police
April 2020, console game Animal Crossing is banned due to screenshots of the game used to show solidarity with Hong Kong protestors
May 2020, citizen journalist Zhang Zhan is arrested after reporting on coronavirus
May 2020, journalist Jiang Xue is disappeared after writing about Li Wenliang
May 2020, activist Xie Junbiao is arrested for protesting the imprisonment of Huang Qi
May 2020, government announces new national security law for Hong Kong that would allow mainland security forces to operate in the city
May 2020, rights activist Xiao Yuhui and another person are arrested after sharing a pro-Hong Kong message on WeChat
May 2020, poet Wang Zang is placed under house arrest after showing support for Hong Kong democracy
May 2020, poet Lu Yang is arrested
June 2020, government pushes mainland law that criminalizes disrespect of the Chinese national anthem into Hong Kong
June 2020, government announces that defamation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, proven to be no more effective than a placebo and yet still a multi-billion dollar export industry, is now a punishable offence
June 2020, government forces Zoom to suspend the accounts of three activists located outside of China
June 2020, government announces a secret police force will be formed in Hong Kong
June 2020, state media blames imported fish for new coronavirus outbreak, bans salmon imports
June 2020, politics and sports statistics blog FiveThirtyEight is blocked
June 2020, military kills twenty Indian soldiers in border skirmish that follows months of advances from the Chinese side
June 2020, government unanimously passes new national security law for Hong Kong without revealing its full text, it is effective immediately

Censorship. Lies. Secrecy. Greed. Sexism. Racism. Classism. Homophobia. Islamophobia. Xenophobia. Economic threats. Suppression of all dissent. Indefinite detention. All carried out by order of the Party. Even people of Chinese descent living overseas are not safe from their reach. This is just the stuff i remember, stuff that got reported on sites i follow, stuff that made it out.

Conversations are constantly squashed. Small businesses are routinely shut down by government authorities. Migrant workers and the poor regularly have their lives disrupted. Ethnic minorities face mass incarceration. Local languages and cultural practices are deleted from existence. History is rewritten in real-time. Corruption and cheating is rife through all levels of education. Private and public companies are monitored by internal Party units and employees are threatened any time they step out of line. There is no freedom here.

The past year has been very, very dark. I started writing this list a few months ago to remind me, every time i sit on a plastic stool and eat some noodles and start to think "well, there are some good things..." Yeah there are some good things.

There are more bad things. This government is truly horrific.
Tags: china

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