Dec 29 (USA Today): Coded language is common in Chinese cyberspace, not just to reduce the risk of official retribution, but also to show off creativity in the fight for free expression. Political jokes in China have moved from the dinner table to microblogs, “so a far larger population participates,” says Xiao Qiang, a China Internet expert at the University of California-Berkeley.
While some analysts believe the Communist Party considers most humor “a safety valve, to let steam off,” Xiao sees long-term impact. The jokes, and the frustration behind them, chip away at the legitimacy of party power, he says. “The more jokes you share, the more potential for organizing and becoming a forum for political petitions. The authorities are very alert to this.”
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