The carnival of emotion is taking shape in China, with the Communist Party of China announcing a series of new policies aimed at controlling social and political turmoil and bolstering its authority.
In a state-wide meeting on Wednesday, party members announced a series a policy of “psychological control”, including “further tightening” of the Communist party, curbing freedom of expression, and cracking down on media.
“The party will continue to promote the unity and development of the nation, and promote the welfare of all people,” said a party communiqué, in an apparent reference to the current crisis.
“We will make our country safer, and the nation will be more prosperous.”
The communiquere was published hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a new decree aimed at “protecting the stability and wellbeing of the country” in an address to a party gathering.
On Monday, China issued a decree that would tighten the grip of the CCP, the Communist-run government that rules the country.
“This is a new era of stability,” said Yang Zeguang, a political scientist at the Shanghai Institute of Political Science.
“We are facing a new reality.”
But for many in China who have watched the turmoil since the Communist regime collapsed in 1949, the measures are only a temporary respite.
“These are temporary measures, but they are a signal to us that the regime is gradually falling apart,” said Wang Shuiwei, a retired academic who has studied China’s political landscape.
“This is really a new phase of social unrest.
We are seeing more and more unrest in China.”
China’s state-run media have been particularly vocal in their criticism of the authorities since the start of the crisis, with top-selling tabloid the Global Times warning that the “tens of millions of people” will “waste their lives on the streets” if the government does not “stop pandering to the masses”.
The paper also reported that the government is “setting up a system of censorship” and is “using the public’s emotions to control public opinion”.
“It’s very clear that the CCP is planning to crush the protests and the movement,” said Zhou Hongzhuang, an academic who studies Chinese politics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
“It is hard to predict what the future will bring, but the party will be a very strong and strong regime in the coming years.”
The changes could have an impact on how the world sees China, where tensions between Beijing and Washington have been rising amid a deepening rivalry between Beijing’s Communist Party and the US.
“It will give the US and China a bad name,” said Xu Jianxin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
“I don’t think China will become a good friend any time soon.”
China and the WestChina has been the most outspoken of the leaders in the past few years on the political turmoil in the country, with leaders from the US, France, Britain, and Germany visiting Beijing in recent months.
The measures are expected to be part of the latest round of reform that President Xi announced last week, in which he announced the end of a policy that the US had imposed in the 1970s that allowed China to control political dissent.
“I’m happy to see the Party continue to use its social control,” said Liu Jieyi, a professor at Beijing’s Lingnan University.
“But it should not be the sole tool to control the country’s internal affairs.”
“The US is going through a period of economic crisis and a crisis in social stability, so China should use its own economic power to support the country,” said Li Jianli, a fellow at the American University of Hong Kong.
China’s leadership has been more forthcoming in recent weeks on the turmoil in neighboring Taiwan, where a referendum in October 2016 was deemed illegal and the Chinese government imposed a border clampdown on the island.
On Wednesday, China’s foreign ministry said it would provide financial assistance to Taiwan to resolve the standoff, and also said it was providing “technical support” to the island’s government.
“China will not allow Taiwan to be a threat to the Chinese mainland,” the statement said.
Analysts say the measures could have a ripple effect on China’s economy.
“While the policies may seem drastic, they are aimed at reducing tensions and boosting the party’s popularity,” said Zhu Yang, an analyst at the Brookings Institution.
“China’s political system has a long tradition of controlling the flow of information, so it is natural for the government to seek to improve its control of the news media.”