Censorship in China Is Getting Worse During the Pandemic
(Minghui.org) I live in Paris, France. Recently I had many phone calls with friends and relatives in China and learned about the censorship there. I used to think that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) only spied on the so-called “sensitive people.” But during this CCP virus pandemic, I realized that the censorship in China is far worse than what I imagined.
My husband has a WeChat group of college classmates. A few group members posted a few so-called “sensitive” articles, and the whole group account was closed twice. The group members got nervous and told each other not to talk about sensitive topics in the group. The problem is that there are too many topics that are sensitive to the Chinese regime. Any sensitive words would draw attention from the internet police, and the user’s account would be closed. Here is an example.
Ms. Xu became an invisible member in my husband’s WeChat group, only because she asked the group if the CCP’s death count in Wuhan was underreported. After asking this question, the group members in China couldn’t see anything she posted, but people overseas could. Thus, when the overseas members talked to Ms. Xu in the group, the members in China could only see half of the conversation—the text from the overseas members, but not Ms. Xu’s text. The conversations do not make sense, as if the overseas members are talking to themselves.
Some members in China asked the overseas members, “Who are you talking to?” The overseas members then realized that they couldn’t see Ms. Xu's text, and Ms. Xu then realized that she was blocked and become invisible to those in China.
One of my friends living in Vancouver, Canada, has twenty-some WeChat groups on his account. After the outbreak of the coronavirus, he posted a joke that made fun of the CCP’s actions during the pandemic. His WeChat account was closed soon thereafter. At the beginning, he didn't know what happened. When he called his friends in China, he learned that he “should not post such an article,” especially as an overseas user. He had to set up a new account and re-add his contacts’ information. But all the conversation history was gone.
Another friend of mine living in the U.S. called his family in Baotou, China. He mentioned the possibility that the virus may originate from the P4 research laboratory in Wuhan, China. To his surprise, the second day his brother from China called him, saying that right after the conversation on the previous day, the local public security police talked to his brother. The police asked his brother to warn him “not to talk casually.” His brother told him that from now on he should only talk about family and personal affairs on the phone.
I feel sad for Chinese people—we have communication tools, but we cannot say what we want to say. Many people don’t know the truth of the pandemic. The Chinese people have the right to know, and they have the right to hold the CCP accountable. But they have been deprived of all these rights. It is really sad.