onsdag 8. september 2021

Under Xi Jinping, the private life of Chinese citizens isn't so private anymore

Even for a powerful authoritarian state, the speed and extent to which the Communist Party is expanding its reach into private lives in China has caught many off guard. Since celebrating its centennial with great fanfare in July, the party has imposed a flurry of regulations telling Chinese people, especially the younger generation, how to live their everyday lives.

The sweeping new rules dictate how much time kids can play video games, when and how students can take after-school classes, which entertainers with what type of looks people can watch on TV, and what kind of activities fans can take part in to support their celebrity idols.

These policies have received varying degrees of public support. The tough restrictions limiting minors to three hours of video gaming a week have been applauded by many parents at a loss at how to curb their children's gaming habits. The ban on "effeminate" male celebrities in entertainment shows, meanwhile, has drawn widespread criticism for promoting gender stereotypes and discrimination. The measures are the latest attempt by President Xi Jinping to reassert the party's dominance in shaping the private lives of Chinese citizens, marking a significant departure from the more hands-off direction Chinese leaders had taken in recent decades past.