The Chinese magazine Caixin has published the contents of a pro-democracy speech given by Shanghai scholar and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference member Jiang Hong, despite mainland authorities removing two articles criticising censorship from its website this past week.
The speech, which Jiang gave two years ago at the second session of the 12th CPPCC, was taken from his Weibo account recently, the article said. The speech is entitled “Only democracy can provide a cure to the root causes of corruption”. In it, Jiang said that curbing corruption through internal inter-department supervision would not provide a lasting solution to the problem. Jiang cited Mao Zedong, saying “Only when the government is being supervised by its people will it be disciplined.”
Jiang suggested the government ought increase its transparency, protect freedom of speech and publication to encourage different viewpoints, and guarantee citizens’ rights to take part in elections.
“Establishing democratic political systems and increasing external control is the only effective long-term measure for tackling corruption,” Jiang said.
Last Thursday, the highly-regarded business and finance magazine posted an interview with Jiang on its Chinese-language site, in which he called for the protection of the right to speak freely and said that the current atmosphere made it difficult to give advice to the party and the government. The article was removed by the Cyberspace Administration of China for violating the law, a move Jiang called “bewildering”.
Caixin’s English-language website then posted a follow-up interview with Jiang on the removal of the first article, but that piece was also subsequently removed.
The moves came just weeks after Xi Jinping paid a visit to the headquarters of three state media outlets in Beijing, during which he told journalists to “love the party, protect the party, and closely align themselves with the party leadership in thought, politics and action”.