Here’s a thing: Wang Dengchao, a fairly senior Chinese cop, seems to have been jailed on bogus public order charges. Dissidents say that this is the real reason:
Wang Dengchao (王登朝), a police officer at Luohu Sub-bureau of Shenzhen Public Security Bureau (police ID 054985), was arrested on March 8, 2012 on charges of embezzlement and disruption of public services. After being detained for 8 months, he was tried and sentenced to 14 years in prison on December 4th, 2012.
But he is believed to be arrested and harshly sentenced for attempting to organize a large-scale assembly to commemorate the 87th anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s death, to be held in Lianhua Hill Park in Shenzhen on March 10th, 2012. Friends and family said Wang Dengchao had taken out a 500,000 loan from bank for the event. He made T-shirts and banners, and hired people to distribute flies and other promotional materials. He also asked friends to give speeches during the assembly. He had foreseen the possibility of being arrested, but he believed that if the event was held as planned, it would be worth it.
Turning People’s Republic of China back to the Republic of China (民国), or the pre-1949 era, has been a strain in China’s democratic thinking and activism.
Presumably by people who never heard of the Blue Shirts. Anyway, one interesting point here is that Wang was jailed on criminal charges rather than for allegations related to subversion. This is unusual because Beijing is usually quite open about its ‘right’ to jail people on political charges. But then the Party venerates Sun Yatsen as well as a kind of John the Baptist figure so it would be embarrassing to bang someone up for freelancing on the sme thing. His appeal was held today: no news yet of how it turned out.
Elsewhere, Xi Jinping has called for the Party to be ‘more tolerant of criticism’. This mainly seems to refer to criticism from the ‘eight democratic parties’ that Beijing keeps as, basically, pets, and patronises from time to time when it wants to signal a liberal turn. One of these, ironically, is the successor of the old left-Kuomintang.
Overall, Xi’s comments seem to fit into the emerging overall strategy of trying to make the walled garden bigger while also raising the size of the wall. And of course if you jail people on bogus criminal charges then you can’t be charged with intolerance of dissent.