How the Chinese government strategically employs media censorship to guide the public opinion for regime stability is the topic of a paper by Jackie (Siu-Hei) Wong, an intern at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.
The paper uses the case study of the 2014 Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong and how Chinese internet censorship played into that event to steer public opinion in China.
According to Wong, “In 2014, Hong Kong, the former colony of the Great Britain handed over to China in 1997, experienced a large-scale social protest and civil disobedience against the Chinese government in restricting the constitutional democratic reform in the city. The large scale of civil disobedience, known as the Occupy Central Movement, associated with strong demand of democracy, raised an interesting question – how did the Chinese government manage the public opinion in China via internet censorship regarding this movement, and why? While collective action and democracy are the two most sensitive topics in Chinese media, would the Chinese government completely censor internet messages related to the movement in Hong Kong?”
Via investigating the news content of People’s Daily and censored internet messages throughout the 2014 Occupy Central Movement in Hong Kong from late September 2014 to late December 2014, he discovered that the Chinese government has been strategically guiding public opinion in China by officially reporting that the movement was illegal, and undermining the prosperity of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the censorship machine has been selectively censoring messages that supported the movement but leaving messages that criticized the movement. These findings shed new light on the current studies of Chinese media management and suggest a more nuanced picture of Chinese censorship regime.
Read the full paper on line at this link: https://apcss.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Final-Version-Research-Paper.pdf
A native of Hong Kong, China, Jackie Wong received his Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago. He also obtained his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) with Distinction and Departmental Honors. He interned at APCSS with the courses Advanced Security Cooperation 16-2, Transnational Security Cooperation 16-2, and Comprehensive Crisis Management 17-1. His studies focus on Chinese foreign policy, media management, and their interplay with nationalism.