Popular Magazine, Freezing Point, Banned
Freezing Point , a weekly magazine printed by China Youth Daily in Beijing, was forced to end its 11 years of publication on January 25, 2006. One anonymous China Youth Daily editor said, the end of the publication has a direct relationship with a recent article published by Professor Yuan Weishi.
Mr. Yuan Weishi is a philosophy professor at Sun Yet-Sen University, Guangdong Province. In his article titled “Modernization and History Textbooks,” he discusses topics about how textbooks influence Chinese youth's ideology.
“At the end of the 1970s, after experiencing the Anti-Rightist Campaign, the Great Leap Forward and the Culture Revolution, people came to the painful realization that one of the reasons for all these tragedies was, 'we all grew up drinking wolf's milk.' Over 20 years have passed, and occasionally, I read through the current primary school history textbooks, and, what surprises me is, our next generation is still drinking wolf's milk!”
(Editor's Note: The saying “one was raised on wolf's milk” offends the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), it means the CCP is the “wolf,” and that the ideology that it wants to pass down is “wolf's milk.”)
On January 25, 2006, Freezing Point Editor-in-Chief Li Datong publicly expressed his disagreement of the ban. Li said, the decision to end the publication was made by the Youth League Central Committee Propaganda Department, and the so-called “decision” accused Professor Yuan's article with a stupid excuse, and then announced Freezing Point to “stop publication for reorganization.” Besides circulating a notice to criticize the Chief Editor and Li, they also imposed a “financial punishment.”
Wolf's Milk Issue Draws Scholars' Concern
What is “Wolf's Milk”? As Professor Yuan stated, it is the ideology that the CCP wants to pass down through its history textbooks. It's the reason that it's impossible for students to understand true history. The heaviest words in Professor Yuan's article are “one who grew up drinking wolf's milk.”
According to some early reports, scholars in Beijing have already had discussion over this topic. They believe that current textbooks are still fulfilling the purpose to indoctrinate the CCP's historical views. They teach concepts like Revolutionary/Anti-revolutionary, Rebellion/Suppression, Right/Wrong, but lack an understanding about public affairs that modern citizens should have and lack this modern society's approach to mutual respect, tolerance, and a liberalistic, forgiving tradition.
Some scholars comment that China only has “people that grew up drinking wolf's milk,” so they have too much corruption in their society, which cause huge embezzlement, disregard of public losses, and behavior that only cares for personal gain.
Mr. Li Datong Confirms the Ban of Freezing Point
On the evening of January 24, Editor-in-Chief of Freezing Point Special Column Li Datong confirmed the end of the publication, “There is nothing I can say, I can only confirm the facts with you. Because it is something that we cannot help, there will be no Freezing Point tomorrow; we cannot hide this.” But Li also said it was not convenient for him to tell the reason for the end of the publication.
Li Datong's message on his blog also verified the ban, he wrote, “Goodbye! Freezing Point tenaciously survived 11 years, finally it fades. Thanks much to our colleagues and readers that gave us so much support!”
Not long after the message, Li's blog was also removed.
The CCP Strengthens Control on Media to Prevent 'Color' Revolution
Analysts say that the CCP strengthens it control on media, the Internet, NGOs, lawyers, scholars, and dissenters, in order to prevent a “color revolution” from happening in China, which was known to overthrow many dictator governments in the former Soviet Union Countries such as Georgia and the Ukraine.
While Ice Point published many reports on social problems that concerned people and the corruption brought by the current political system, its reports often “offended” the CCP authorities.
Since the first publication of Freezing Point in 1994, many of its reports have been converted into special topic TV shows, compiled into books by three publishers, and listed in many universities' textbooks for study in Public Media. Just at the end of 2005, Ice Point was nominated on mainland Internet as Media of the Year.
Recently, mainland media that dared to unveil the dark side of the current society and dared to expose political scandals, have all encountered suppression to different extent. The most famous cases occurred with the following publications: Southern China Metropolitan , The Beijing News , Economic Observer , Henan Business Daily , Shenzhen Legal Daily , and People's Magazine . All these media, have either changed names or ceased publication.