China Cracks Down on Critics of Historical Figures

China Cracks Down on Critics of Historical Figures

( – In his dystopian novel, 1984, George Orwell wrote that the best way to “destroy” a nation’s people is to “obliterate” their understanding of history. Recent reports out of China indicate the communist country’s officials may have put that plan into action.

A Chinese law banning any criticism or mockery of historic figures went into effect earlier this year, and now leaders are punishing people by putting them behind bars for breaking the rule. Critics claim the Chinese Communist Party and President Xi Jinping are using the statute to realign the country culturally and historically.

Chinese authorities went as far as publishing a list of topics to avoid during public or internet-based discussions. For instance, Chinese citizens cannot question facts surrounding former leader Mao Zedong’s Long March. Some critics question the length of Chairman Mao’s 1934 to 1935 historic trek.

Noted columnist and author Gordon Guthrie Chang told reporters the effort to “criminalize criticism of communist party icons” represents forced “obedience and loyalty” to the ruling Communist Party. “This is like 1984,” he stated, where “loyalty and love for the party” rule the day. Chang concluded his remarks, noting that this oppressive effort by Chinese officials to control history is “self-wounding” in much the same way as North Korea’s approach to censoring history.

So far, the government has punished at least 15 people for violating the new law.

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