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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:48 AM

Chinese Coup Rumors Run Wild Online, Then Disappear

Source: Bloomberg

These are strange days for China’s netizens. On March 15, the Chinese Communist Party relieved Bo Xilai, the Chongqing Party Secretary, of his duties after his police chief allegedly attempted to seek asylum in the United States. It was arguably the biggest political story to hit China in two decades, and Chinese microbloggers embraced it with gusto. In the hours following the concise, two-sentence official statement the state media carried about the firing, citizens posted millions of tweets to Sina Weibo, China's most popular microblog, speculating about the causes and circumstances of Bo’s abrupt fall.

The Weibo frenzy lasted for roughly a day, but then, with ruthless efficiency, the censors that troll Chinese microblogs -- whether they represent the party or the controversy-averse microblog owners -- quickly vacuumed up most of those tweets, abolishing them from the site. Searches, too, for “Bo Xilai” on Weibo produced no results. The Chinese public knows nothing about what is happening between the factions who supported Bo, and those who opposed him.
Enlarge image China Web Page

Amidst all this opacity, politically-interested netizens have fallen into a seemingly paranoid mood. This is especially the case for those who have something to gain or lose from the rise and fall of political leaders, such as businessmen whose success is highly dependent upon good relations with local governments. One of China’s best-known real-estate developers, Pan Shiyi, tweeted this on Monday night for his 9.2 million followers:

This evening Weibo was strange indeed, there were some words that could not be sent out on Weibo. I saw a line of commentary dropped several times from Weibo, but what I saw made my scalp tingle; was it gremlins? Better to turn off the computer and go to sleep.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-21/chinese-coup-rumors-run-wild-online-then-disappear-adam-minter.html

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Reply Chinese Coup Rumors Run Wild Online, Then Disappear (Original post)
Julian Englis Mar 2012 OP
Odin2005 Mar 2012 #1
Julian Englis Mar 2012 #2
Uncle Joe Mar 2012 #3
marble falls Mar 2012 #4
rayofreason Mar 2012 #5
Julian Englis Mar 2012 #6
David__77 Mar 2012 #7
dipsydoodle Mar 2012 #8
Julian Englis Mar 2012 #9

Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:01 PM

1. The state censorship in China is creepy is hell!

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:01 PM

2. The BBC's take: There is no coup

Damaging coup rumours ricochet across China

Have you heard? There's been a coup in China! Tanks have been spotted on the streets of Beijing and other cities! Shots were fired near the Communist Party's leadership compound!

OK, before you get too agitated, there is no coup. To be more exact, as far as we know there has been no attempted coup.

To be completely correct we should say we do not know what's going on. The fact is there is no evidence of a coup. But it is a subject that has obsessed many in China this week.

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of reporting on China in the past few days. Coup rumours ricocheted back and forth, most over the internet, but some were picked up by western newspapers. China's microblogs were awash with speculation. Hard facts were non-existent.


More at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-17476760

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:24 PM

3. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Julian Englis.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:35 PM

4. Wooo-hoooooo! Oil prices Up!!! Whether the "rumors" are true or not.....

GOP oil speculators probably are floating this whole thing with rumors of rumors.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:53 PM

5. More on the story here ...


http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/21/chinese_coup_watching

They have not solved the problem of succession. And the word on the street is that peasants (still the bulk of China) are not doing well, the reported economic statistics are being faked (I know, shocking in a communist-party controlled dictatorship!). At some point someone for his or her own purposes will whip up and unleash that pent-up frustration as has happened so many times in Chinese history.

Don't be surprised if there is a major eruption of chaos in the near future.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:08 PM

6. Taipei Times--Chinese communists are engaged in a battle between ‘bad and worse’: Yu Jie

The Tapei Times reports:
A power struggle between disgraced former Chongqing Communist Party secretary Bo Xilai (薄熙來 ) and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶 ) is a fight between “bad and worse” communists, a well-known Chinese dissident said.

In a Twitter post, Yu Jie (余杰 ) said the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) firing of Bo smacked of its purge of the “Gang of Four” in 1976, as it was done “not in accordance with normal procedure.”

“Where is Bo now? How is he? No official information at all — creating fertile ground for rumors,” Yu said.


More at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2012/03/23/2003528497

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:16 PM

7. Well, there was a coup.

It seems certain that normal procedures were not followed in sacking Bo Xilai. I'm not even referring to civil law of the PRC - I'm referring to "party law" of the Communist Party of China. Only the relevant local party committee or a higher committee could order such a thing unless there is a criminal prosecution. But this is nothing new in China. Such moves have occurred since the beginning. It's is highly ironic that the very forces clamoring for "transparency" in China are those that are least transparent, and are much more authoritarian. Bo Xilai was much more democratic than those sitting at the top.

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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 07:18 PM

8. Maybe something got lost in translation



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Response to Julian Englis (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 01:21 AM

9. L.A. Times: China coup rumors may be wild, but tension is real

Reporting from Beijing—
The aftershocksfrom the sacking last week of a powerful Communist Party secretary are still rattling China, injecting an element of turmoil into a transition the government had hoped would showcase the stability of its political system.

State media reported this week that 3,300 party cadres from the security apparatus would be sent to Beijing for ideological retraining. The order was unusual enough, but even more so was the fact that the report omitted mention of internal security czar Zhou Yongkang, who heads the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee that is recalling the cadres.

Zhou, a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and until now one of the most powerful men in China, had been the committee's strongest backer of Bo Xilai, the Communist Party secretary of Chongqing who was removed from his post last week. Some overseas Chinese-language Internet sites carried wild (and unsubstantiated) rumors that Zhou and Bo, a popular figure among Maoist traditionalists, had tried to stage a coup.

A level of edginess was apparent this week in the unusually large security presence in central Beijing, complete with armed SWAT teams in some subway stations.


More at: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-china-coup-rumors-20120323,0,6191555.story

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