Censorship Campaign Reveals China’s True Face

A full 32 years have passed since the Tiananmen Square massacre and an entire generation may be unfamiliar with Chinese reality. Fortunately, the Communist regime recently revealed its true face.

As the BBC reported this month, China will ban “effeminate” behavior and “vulgar influences.”

China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) aims to tighten rules over “unhealthy content,” and demands that “political and moral content,” should be included in the selection of actors. These were not new developments in the Communist nation.

China has blurred out the piercings, tattoos and ponytails of male television stars and edited out gay references in Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Chinese Communist Party (CCP) censors also cut nudity and sex scenes from “Game of Thrones” and “The Shape of Water.” As Americans should understand, China’s prudery and censorship are integral components of the totalitarian state.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics viewed sexual freedom as a product of “capitalist decadence” and homosexuality was subject to prosecution. In 1969, the USSR declared that the nudity in “Oh! Calcutta!” was a sign of decadence in Western culture and infecting youth with “bourgeois” values.

The Soviet socialists also criticized jazz as the product of “bourgeois culture” and foreign jazz artists were banned. In similar style, the Cuban Communist regime of Fidel Castro jailed trumpeter Arturo Sandoval for listening to jazz on the Voice of America. Castro also exceeded his Soviet sponsors in the persecution of homosexuals.

For Castro, homosexuality was “a deviation” that “clashes with the concept we have of what a militant communist should be.” For the Communist dictator, homosexuality was “inherently counterrevolutionary, a bourgeois decadence.” Castro confined homosexuals and other “undesirables” in a network of prison work camps known as Military Units to Aid Production (UMAP).

In the 1984 “Improper Conduct,” Cuban cinematographer Nestor Almendros (“Days of Heaven”) and documentarian Orlando Jimenez-Leal (“8A”) exposed those prison camps. In 2021, China expands the list of those it deems guilty of improper conduct.

As National Public Radio reports, China intends its ban on effeminate men to promote “revolutionary culture,” as part of Xi Jinping’s “national rejuvenation.” CCP regulators demand that broadcasters “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal aesthetics.”

Broadcasters should avoid promoting “vulgar internet celebrities” and instead “vigorously promote excellent Chinese traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture.”

CCP regulators also decry the “chaotic” celebrity fan culture of the internet, where some stars have suddenly disappeared. For Australian journalist Imogen Braddick, it’s all part of China’s “latest brutal crackdown on freedoms,” and that reflects the larger reality that many in the West prefer to ignore. China remains a Communist dictatorship, so no surprise that China’s repression of freedom in politics, religion and lifestyle mirrors the Communist dictatorships of the USSR and Cuba.

With access to American markets, China was supposed to become a more open and liberal society. That never happened, and as the current crackdown confirms, repression is now surging.

Last year Joe Biden said the Chinese were “not bad folks” and not even competition for the United States. With Biden now in the White House, the United States could become more like China, with compliant tech, entertainment and media companies censoring material the Washington establishment might not like.

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at American Greatness.
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