China Dissent Monitor 2023
Issue 4: April – June 2023
- More than 2,800 dissent events over a one-year period. CDM has collected 2,803 dissent events since June 2022, of which 1,594 are fully coded and available on the CDM public website. At least 30,000 people cumulatively have participated in the events that have been coded. The forms of dissent include demonstrations (78 percent); obstruction, occupation, and noncooperation (5 percent); contentious petitioning (4 percent); strikes (3 percent); and artistic expression (1 percent). During the quarter from April to June 2023, CDM logged 535 events, led by labor (59 percent) and housing (22 percent) protest, with the remainder linked to issues like education and school safety, LGBT+ rights, ethnic and cultural rights, and religious freedom.
- LGBT+ community speaks out during Pride Month. CDM documented at least 16 cases of people invoking Pride Month during June 2023 in activities including an online photography contest, viral videos, an offline Pride Run, flyer distribution, and in-person gatherings. Repression was documented in 5 of the 9 offline events, including arrest, intimidation, and police closure of an event.
- Protest among ethnic minority groups. CDM has collected 70 cases of dissent by Tibetans and Mongolians. Largely driven by the need for preservation of culture and identity, much of this resistance appears online. Two-thirds of offline dissent was met with repression, demonstrating the high risks faced by these communities.
- Prevalence of censorship. Freedom House analysis of 4,000 Sina Weibo posts indicated that 22 percent of posts that expressed dissent were censored, and the prevalence of censorship has risen in recent months. The factors that can best predict censorship are whether the post challenged or was critical of authorities and whether the account was verified. Labor protest more than doubled over one year, reflecting economic headwinds. Labor dissent has remained heightened since December 2022. CDM data indicates there were at least 93 offline labor protests in June 2023, 2.35 times the number of labor events documented in June 2022.
- Labor protest more than doubled over one year, reflecting economic headwinds. Labor dissent has remained heightened since December 2022. CDM data indicates there were at least 93 offline labor protests in June 2023, 2.35 times the number of labor events documented in June 2022.