November 26, 2015
[ABOVE:Chinese lawyer Yang Junfeng comments on a November 24 Weibo post by the United Nations on China’s torture review, with reference to the term “improper discussion.”]
Over the weekend, a post on the official Weibo account of the United Nations said its Committee Against Torture had questioned China insistently over its record on such issues as judicial independence and its use of “black jails.” Responding in the comments section, Xu Xin (徐昕), a professor in the law school at the Beijing Institute of Technology, gibed: “So, what punishment should the United Nations get for improperly discussing China’s legal system?” Another lawyer, Yang Junfeng (杨俊峰), added his own wisecrack: “My solemn advice is that we detain and interrogate the UN secretary general for having the impudence to improperly discuss the policies of the Central Party.”
The humour in these comments is probably lost on those unfamiliar with political jargon in China, but both taunts draw attention to a term that has rightly come in recent weeks to symbolise the Communist Party’s intolerant attitude toward dissenting views under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. The term, “improper discussion of [the policies] of the central Party,” or wangyi zhongyang (妄议中央), kicked up a storm online after being included in the Party’s new Disciplinary Regulations, released on October 21.