Criticism of the government: China’s censorship authorities urgently need new specialist staff

Criticism of the government: China’s censorship authorities urgently need new specialist staff
Criticism of the government: China’s censorship authorities urgently need new specialist staff

China’s censorship authorities urgently need new specialist staff

Leah Sahay

Posted today at 4:05 p.m

The criticism is fierce, China’s netizens at the Corona curfews practice. “Go to hell,” it says. And that the government is talking big nonsense. A few powerful would fill their pockets with the corona tests while ordinary people suffer. Frontal attacks like these on the party are usually fished out by Beijing’s censors in seconds. Their task is to defend «internet harmony».

So that the criticism does not disappear immediately, people in southern China are now using a trick: unlike in the rest of the country, around 55 million people in Guangdong and Hong Kong speak another language in addition to Mandarin. And what a! Cantonese has somewhere between six and eleven tones. Depending on the tone, the words change their meaning. There are tones that you only use when you’re arguing. And there are sounds, some joke, that only dogs can hear. Sinologist Victor Mair once asked whether Cantonese is more of a language or the personification of the devil.

And now to censorship: Cantonese and Mandarin are often referred to as two dialects, but speakers of each variety cannot understand each other. Although they use the same characters, they do not always have the same meaning. The result: the censorship authority apparently lacks specialist staff.

That’s not entirely new. as himself 2019 at the Hong Kong protests suspected mainland Chinese police officers mingled with the protesters developed these code words in Cantonese.

The corona protests in southern China show what Beijing has long recognized: if the leadership wants to control everything, linguistic diversity is a danger. The ethnic groups in China, of which there are 56, are said to be as closely related as “pomegranate seeds”. In the periphery in particular, people should become Sinicized, adapt to the majority culture of the Han Chinese – if there is such a thing at all. The promotion of Mandarin plays a prominent role here, it is crucial for state security, says Beijing.

Uyghur is already banned

In Inner Mongolia, China banned most of the Mongolian language from schools two years ago. Since then, literature, politics and history can no longer be taught in Mongolian.

Similar rules prevail in Tibet and Xinjiang, where people speak Tibetan, Uyghur and Kazakh, among others. At school, the teaching of these languages ​​is reduced to a few hours. Even the Korean minority on the border with North Korea and long a role model for peaceful coexistence with the Han Chinese is now under pressure.

In the network world, censorship is likely to accelerate the trend. While Uyghur on Douyin, the Chinese Tiktok, has long been banned, the ban is said to have recently been extended to Cantonese videos. Politicians should ensure that young people no longer speak their parents’ language in the medium term. This makes the job easier for the censors.

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The article is in German

Tags: Criticism government Chinas censorship authorities urgently specialist staff

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