Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Our global community of volunteers work hard every day to bring you the world's underreported stories -- but we can't do it without your help. Support our editors, technology, and advocacy campaigns with a donation to Global Voices!

Donate now

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Leaked Chinese Document Warns Against the Evils of Western Values

A secretive directive from the Chinese Communist Party warning party members of the dangers of a free press, democracy, and other Western notions was leaked to the anxiety of Web users who feared the government's grip on power.

Document No. 9, as it is referred to, was issued in April 2013, but was not openly published, and any curious discussion about it was soon censored on Chinese social media. In August 2013, however, the document was leaked, and the whole piece was published by Hong Kong-based Minjing news [zh] on Aug 19, 2013.

The document titled “Concerning the Situation in the Ideological Sphere” referred to as Document No. 9 warns party members that they face losing power if they fail to address subversive elements in Chinese society. The document reveals President Xi Jinping's conservative political stance since his rise to power despite economic reform and a crackdown on corruption.

According to the document, the “seven subversive currents” that are endangering the Communist Party are:

Netizens shared the full version of Document No. 9 On Sina Weibo.

Netizens shared the full version of Document No. 9 on Sina Weibo.

1. 宣揚西方憲政民主。企圖否定當代領導,否定中國特色社會主義政治制度。

2. 宣揚“普世價值”,企圖動搖黨執政的思想理論基礎。

3. 宣揚公民社會,企圖瓦解黨執政的社會基礎。

4. 宣揚新自由主義,企圖改變我國基本經濟制度。

5. 宣揚西方新聞觀,挑戰我國黨管媒體原則和新聞出版管理制度。

6. 宣揚歷史虛無主義,企圖否定中國共產黨歷史和新中國歷史。

7. 質疑改革開放,質疑中國特色社會主義的社會主義性質。

1. Promoting Western constitutional democracy. Attempting to negate current leadership and deny the socialist political system with Chinese characteristics.

2. Promoting the universal value of human rights. Attempting to shake the party's ideological and theoretical foundation.

3. Promoting civic participation. Attempting to disintegrate the social basis of the ruling party.

4. Promoting neo-liberalism. Attempting to change China’s basic economic system.

5. Promoting Western-inspired notions of media independence. Challenging the principle of party-controlled media and the press and publication management system.

6. Promoting historical nihilism. Attempting to negate the history of Chinese Communist Party and the history of the New China.

7. Questioning the Reform and Opening up, questioning socialist nature of socialism with Chinese Characteristics.

The document also involves the “seven speak-not” subjects, a policy for university professors instructing them not to teach seven subjects, including freedom of the press, past mistakes of the communist party, and citizen rights.

After the Document No. 9 was shared on China’s most popular microblogging Sina Weibo, many worried about the government's seemingly increasingly powerful hold. Earlier this month, Beijing authorities set up a site [zh] where users can be alerted of online rumors. This week, Chinese police have detained two Internet users for allegedly starting online rumors that tried to defame government groups and a cultural icon.

One netizen “Huang Jinbiao” wrote [zh]:

新一轮文革到来,五毛们都活了

Another Cultural Revolution, and the 50 Cent Party [editor's note: Internet commenters paid by the Communist Party of China to write favorably about the party] is alive again.

“Wang Yi” lamented [zh]:

什么“9号文件”的内容令人失望。如果最高层都这样绝对,直接视必要改革为颠覆。那为了把这个国家变得更好的一腔热血,是不是也该重新思考。

The content of Document No. 9 is disappointing. If the top level is so determined, and considers necessary reform as subversion, then my passion for a better China is worth rethinking.

Chinese real estate Tycoon Ren Zhiqiang [zh] looked to the bright side:

九号文件将成为引发思想革命大辨论的起点,但绝不是终点。不断爆发出来的以官方为背景的荒谬,有助于让民众认清事实的真相。并选择正确的道路。

Document No. 9 will become the starting point of a great debate on the ideological revolution, and it is by no means the end. Constant bursts of absurdity detailing the background information of officials will help people understand the truth and choose the right path.

“Qinting Rensheng” expressed [zh] optimism:

反宪政就是为了维护、巩固专制统治,这当然没有错。但2013年的反宪政浪潮更有它的特殊意义,就是以此为切入点,在意识形态领域掀起一场对自由民主思潮的大扫荡。出于意料的是,虽然有9号文件的动员,却应者寥寥,只有那么几个无行文人投机凑热闹。究竟文化专制主义的百宝囊里还有什么法宝。

Anti-constitutionalism is for the sake of maintaining and consolidating authoritarian rule. The rising wave of anti-constitutionalism in 2013 has special significance. It serves as a starting point of a conversation about freedom and democracy. As expected, despite the lecturing of Document No. 9, not many have showed enthusiasm. What magic does the cultural autocracy still have?

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site