New Delhi: The Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) launched a new bilingual (English and Tibetan) website — Decoding CCP — Thursday, which claims to explain and decipher the meaning and connotations of key official jargon and slogans used by the Chinese Communist Party in present-day China.
The TCHRD is an India-based non-governmental organisation that works towards advancing human rights and democracy in Tibet, and among the Tibetan community in exile.
The website claims to give an “inside track” on what Chinese interlocutors mean and also explains the alleged “hidden” meaning of phrases like ‘Visit the People, Benefit the People, and Bring Together the Hearts of the People’, as well as terms like ‘Strike Hard Campaign’.
“It is not just a glossary of literal translations. Decoding CCP will unpack the hidden assumptions, implicit meanings, likely impacts and consequences of the aggressive propaganda of the CCP,” Tsering Tsomo, director of TCHRD claimed during the launch of the website at the Press Club of India Thursday. Soon, more phrases and terms will be added to the website, which will also be made into an app next year, she added.
The terms and programmes that the website claims to decode are not necessarily targetted at Tibetans, but those used by the CCP across China.
China’s claim of ‘exemplary civilisation’
A 2018 report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) claimed that under the CCP’s “fanghuiju” initiative — which stands for ‘Visit the People, Benefit the People, and Get Together the Hearts of the People’ — the Chinese government had, since 2014, sent 2,00,000 cadres from government agencies, state-owned enterprises, and public institutions to Muslim homes in Xinjiang for regular surveillance. The acknowledged purpose for the scheme was safeguarding social stability, said the report.
Another HRW report published the same year claimed that while the stated aim of the ‘Strike Hard Campaign’, launched in 2014, was to put an end to “violent terrorism in Xinjiang”, since the launch of this campaign, “Chinese authorities have stepped up the use of arbitrary detention” in Xinjiang, with the “number of people formally arrested leaping three-fold compared to the previous five-year period”.
While the Decoding CCP website does not mention the HRW reports, both these campaigns are among the terms that the website claims to ‘decode’.
While researching about the CCP’s initiative to create ‘Xiaokang villages’ or “a moderately prosperous society in all respects” along the borders, the team of Tibetan researchers for Decoding CCP came across a news report that claimed China had started border patrolling and propaganda activities in Geru village in Shigatse city, bordering Sikkim, as early as August 2019.
The report, written in Tibetan and circulated on the Chinese messaging platform QQ, also mentioned that residents of Geru were also patrolling the area on bikes. “Everyone in Geru these days is considered a spy and every household is a spy house,” the report quoted the CCP’s first secretary Phurbu Sonam as saying. ThePrint has a copy of the report.
“There is a deep history implanted in China’s claim to be the exemplary civilisation everyone must bow to. Tibetans know the backstory well, and navigate their stateless place in the world through unpacking those slogans,” Tsering Dorje, principal researcher and writer of Decoding CCP said.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)