China really is an interesting country. It has become the second richest nation in the world, however, when it comes to political maturity, it is one of the poorest. China is well known for their censorship and tight restrictions posed on freedom of expression. The internet and its traffic of information are keenly observed by the Chinese government, and any trespassing of restrictions or misuse of the freedom given, if caught, will be punished.
Recently, a Chinese woman was sentenced to an entire year in a labor camp for her satirical tweet that mentioned Japan but was directed at China. According to reports, the female online activist Cheng Jianping was sentenced to a year of “Re-education through Labor” for “disturbing social order,” Amnesty International said Wednesday. “Sentencing someone to a year in a labor camp, without trial, for simply repeating another person’s clearly satirical observation on Twitter demonstrates the level of China’s repression when it comes to online expression,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s director of the Asia-Pacific region.
What truly happened was that Cheng had re-posted her fiancé Hua Chunhui’s s tweet about China’s allegedly nationalist demonstrators who had smashed Japanese products protesting an incident between Japan and China’s dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands. Translating what Hua’s tweet said, “Anti-Japanese demonstrations, smashing Japanese products that were all done years ago by Guo Quan (an activist and expert on the Nanjing Massacre). It’s no new trick. If you really wanted to kick it up a notch, you’d immediately fly to Shanghai to smash the Japanese Expo pavilion.” Cheng re-tweeted adding, “Angry youth, charge!”
Amnesty International reported that Cheng disappeared 10 days later, on what was to be her wedding day, with no one knowing where she had gone until this week when it was revealed she had been arrested and sentenced.