Storms Brews: China faces virtual opposition ahead of party meet BEIJING: The forthcoming Communist Party Congress is expected to discuss a major challenge before the next generation of leaders in the form of a "virtual" opposition on the Chinese internet. It's a vast network of alert individuals exposing corruption and misdeeds of leaders and officials. Called 'renrou sousuo yinqing', which literally means human-flesh search engines, the network has attracted tens of thousands of Chinese tracking officials with phone cameras and over the internet. "It means that the network is not a computer driven search engine and real human beings are involved," said Wang Ting, a blogger. "Those involved are responsible people who feel ordinary Chinese need to be vigilant even if they are not directly into politics," he said. The system, which operates as a kind of a loose Wikileaks, has thrown up thousands of videos, photographs, research documents and mapping of political family trees. In the process, scores of officials and businessmen have been exposed, while the government has been kept on the tenterhooks. A recent case involves Yang Dacai, a police officer caught on camera grinning even as people burned in a bus fire that killed 36 in August on the Yanan highway in central China's Shaanxi province. Yang was sacked within weeks after he was exposed over the internet. The one-party government, which never faced serious political challenges, is now bowing to the power of this search engine, which acts like a loose opposition system. The government has acted on several officials exposed by 'renrou' system. Postings from the human flesh network are put up on several Chinese bulletin board services like Mop, Tianya and KDnet besides Weibo, Chinese equivalent of Twitter. Online video sites such as Yokou, Tudou, and Sina are also used as platforms by the network, which does not have a specific internet site devoted to the activity. Original postings that include gossip about the private lives of celebrities, the wealthy, and Communist officials routinely attract hundreds of thousands of comments and retweets. Why the government has allowed the network to flourish has not been fully explained although many feel that the government is losing out to the avalanche of millions of Chinese engaged in social media. The government is itself trying to make the most of the situation by posting its own views under the guise of postings by citizens, observers said. There are 50,000 government agencies with web sites and blogs on the internet. Official censors regularly ask websites to filter postings that carry certain words and phrases. In fact, the government selectively filters stories and postings, and allows those it wants the public to know and get involved in. The choice before the new leadership, which will be elected on Nov 8, is to either curb or allow the human flesh search engine as a disciplining force over the Communist system. Storm brews: China faces virtual opposition ahead of party meet - The Times of India ***************************** Rather interesting. Exciting times ahead for the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China. Too much of capitalism and exposure to the West is creating a field for chaos and disharmony - both feared by the CPC as also the Chinese class that is concentrating merely of getting rich quick, by hook or by crook! The Chinese posters are right that democracy and such freedom of thought is not good for China. I, for one, is convinced that Mao was not 30% wrong and 70% right as was the Chinese Central Communist Party's assessment in 1981, and instead was 100% right. Mao alone could control the chaos that China can lead itself into with a little bit of liberal air and where money can be made quick, through means fair or foul. Communism and total iron hand of the CPC alone can keep China on the path to progress and harmony!