"For the Chinese Communist Party, history is legitimacy…To make sure that history really appears to be on its side, the party spends an inordinate amount of time writing and rewriting it and preventing others from wielding their pens."
@iandenisjohnson bit.ly/3ghOtdO
@iandenisjohnson "Xi has many goals, such as battling corruption, fostering innovation, and projecting power abroad through his Belt and Road Initiative, but controlling history underlies them all."
@iandenisjohnson bit.ly/3ghOtdO
@iandenisjohnson "In theory, members are allowed to say what they want inside the party as long as they accept final decisions…In practice, the ever-shifting correct line means that…a statement that seems innocent now will become compromising later."
@iandenisjohnson Why so little opposition in China? @iandenisjohnson: Yes, "opponents are…given draconian jail sentences. But at least as important is the fact…a huge proportion of the Chinese people appear to be fairly satisfied with how the CCP runs their country." bit.ly/3ghOtdO

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More from @JChengWSJ

12 Jun
Important story by @Lingling_Wei on what is quickly emerging as the latest fault line between Beijing and China's tech giants—and by extension, the U.S. Namely, all that user data being stockpiled by Tencent, Alibaba and Bytedance, among others.
@Lingling_Wei Beijing’s newest five-year plan stresses the need for government sway over private firms’ data—the first five-year plan to do so. Two new laws, including one passed Thursday, subjects almost all data-related activities to government scrutiny.
@Lingling_Wei on.wsj.com/2TqiJdj
@Lingling_Wei One proposed law would limit data collection rules for private firms—but not for the government. “Less invasive…data collection…is a good thing…But China’s push for data privacy strikes me as yet another move to strengthen…the party.”
@Lingling_Wei on.wsj.com/2TqiJdj
Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
Wuhan's lockdown last year stopped people from leaving. But it didn't stop our colleague Chao from getting into the city, and offering an eyewitness account from inside the pandemic's first epicenter. We're really proud of Chao's work and we hope you read it. A short thread…
Feb. 7: "Patients packed the waiting room at Wuhan’s Tongji Hospital on Friday, intravenous drips in their arms. Medical staff wheeled patients…through the crowd. In the hallways, the sick lay curled up on cots, hooked to oxygen tanks."
@Chao_Deng @stuwoo
@Chao_Deng @stuwoo Feb. 11: "Coughing badly, Zhu Chunxia sat on a sidewalk in the rain on Monday, awaiting transport to a facility where…she could be treated for the new coronavirus sweeping through this central Chinese city. The ride never came."
@Chao_Deng on.wsj.com/2HcajgB
Read 6 tweets
6 Apr
A thousand years ago, when money meant coins, China invented paper currency. Now the Chinese government is minting cash digitally, in a re-imagination of money that could shake a pillar of American power.
@jamestareddy @TByGraceZhu on.wsj.com/31MnHlB
@jamestareddy @TByGraceZhu It may seem money is already virtual, as credit cards and payment apps like Apple Pay and WeChat eliminate the need for bills or coins. But those just move money around electronically. China is turning legal tender itself into computer code.
@jamestareddy on.wsj.com/31MnHlB
@jamestareddy @TByGraceZhu China’s digital currency is controlled by its central bank, which will issue the new money, giving it new tools to monitor the economy and its people. By design, the digital yuan will negate one of bitcoin’s major draws: anonymity for the user.
Read 8 tweets
19 Mar
Yang Jiechi to Tony Blinken: "China has made decisive achievements and important strategic gains in fighting COVID-19…China’s per capita GDP is only one-fifth of that of the United States, but we have managed to end absolute poverty for all people."
Yang: "The United States has its style—United States-style democracy—and China has the Chinese-style democracy. It is not just up to the American people, but also the people of the world to evaluate how the United States has done in…its own democracy."
Yang: "It is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world. Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States."
Read 10 tweets
18 Mar
As the WHO-led coronavirus origins probe finalizes its report a month after its Wuhan mission, its constraints are becoming clear. @drewhinshaw @betswrites @JNBPage on how little power it had to conduct a thorough probe.
@drewhinshaw @betswrites @JNBPage The WHO asked the U.S. to recommend experts, but didn’t contact the three that Washington put forward, though it added another U.S. scientist to the team. Beijing hasn’t publicly identified most Chinese participants or shared raw data on the first cases.
@drewhinshaw @betswrites @JNBPage China resisted pressure for an investigation it saw as an attempt to assign blame, delayed the probe for months, secured veto rights over participants and insisted its scope encompass other countries as well. on.wsj.com/3ttUjfW
Read 7 tweets
22 Feb
Matt Pottinger: "The Chinese government was not sharing useful data with anyone in the world. The World Health Organization was parroting misinformation about this virus. They…were claiming that it is not featuring significant human-to-human spread."
Pottinger: "I was able to call doctors on the ground in China in late January. And they were already telling me, look…Half of the cases or more are asymptomatic. That was a different story from what the Chinese government was telling."
@margbrennan Pottinger: "If you weigh the circumstantial evidence, the ledger on the side of an explanation that says that this resulted from some kind of human error, it far outweighs…the side of the scale that says this was some natural outbreak."
@margbrennan cbsn.ws/3kco6Xe
Read 5 tweets

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