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China announces a new plan to protect the people—on Twitter, which they can’t read

Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Flags in front of The Great Hall of the People, where the plenum was held.
By Heather Timmons
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Soon after China’s “Third Plenum,” a four day meeting of the highest-ranked officials in the Communist Party, ended today, details about the meeting started to trickle out. Many of them were vague, like statements that China planned to “deepen reforms” and establish a “service orientated” government, but one was unusual for both its message and medium.

China will establish a new “state security committee,” the state-run news agency Xinhua said, a group that would “improve systems and strategies to ensure national security,” “improve social governance” and “safeguard the interests of the people.” How that would be done, exactly, wasn’t clear. Nor was it apparent how this group’s focus would differ from the existing Ministry of State Security or the Ministry of Public Security.

The way that the news was released, though, seemed to indicate it was designed with foreign governments in mind as much as the people of the People’s Republic: Xinhua broadcast the news on its English-language Twitter feed. Twitter, of course, is blocked in China.

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