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China’s party members face punishment for political rumours, expulsion for religiosity

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his opening remarks to the members of Global chief executive committee during the round table summit at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 21, 2018. (Photo courtesy: Andy Wong/Pool/REUTERS)
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers his opening remarks to the members of Global chief executive committee during the round table summit at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 21, 2018. (Photo courtesy: Andy Wong/Pool/REUTERS)

(TibetanReview.net, Aug28, 2018) – In a further tightening of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s already absolute control, China’s ruling Communist Party has issued a revised set of regulations governing its members’ behaviour, threatening punishment for spreading ‘political rumours’ and recommending that those who cling to religious beliefs be asked to leave the party.

The updated discipline rules, released late on Aug 26 by the graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, but in effect from Aug 18, put into written form many orders that in practice were already in effect, reported Reuters Aug 27.

The report said Xi’s name was also written into the revised rules, as it already was in the party and country’s constitutions, putting him at the very centre of party life. These effectively render loyalty to the party and county synonymous with loyalty to Mr Xi.

Party members are not allowed to speak out against central party policies or decisions, nor can they spread “political rumours or damage the party’s unity”, the new rules were quoted as saying.

Another new clause was cited as saying that while China’s national constitution guarantees freedom of religion, the party was officially atheist and party members were therefore supposed to be too.

“Party members who have religious belief should have strengthened thought education. If they still don’t change after help and education from the party organisation, they should be encouraged to leave the party,” the new rules were cited as saying. Those who attend “activities that use religion for incitement” will be expelled.

Yet another new clause was stated to call for punishment of those who “distort” the history of the People’s Republic of China, rather than just party or military history as before.

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