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China launched a reporting system in April allowing netizens to report authors, including journalists and bloggers, who publish allegedly “harmful” comments on the country’s history.

As part of the Chinese regime’s attempt to rewrite history, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) launched on 9th April a system that enables netizens to report online comments suspected to “distort” the Chinese Communist Party’s official narrative on history, “attack its leadership, guiding ideologies, principles and policies” and “deny the excellence of advanced socialist culture”.

The maximum penalty for such comments was not specified, but a legal amendment to China’s Criminal Law released in February this year, detailed a penalty of up to three years in prison for people declared guilty of “insulting, slandering or infringing upon” the memory of China’s national heroes or martyrs. 

In recent years, President Xi Jinping’s regime has tightened its control on state and privately-owned media while systematically harassing foreign correspondents. At the same time, Beijing is trying to export its repressive model by promoting a “new world media order” under its influence.

China ranked 177th out of 180 in the 2021 RSF World Press Freedom Index and is the world’s largest captor of journalists with at least 115 detained, often in life-threatening conditions.