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Beijing Police Chief Under Fire For Internet Sweep

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Published on Jul 28, 2012

After Beijing's massive deluge, local residents turned to the Internet to vent against the city's widespread flooding. Now that anger has turned towards the chief of Beijing's Public Security Bureau, Fu Zhenghua, after he warned residents not to use the Internet to "attack" the country's leaders.

Fu issued the warning on Tuesday. He said Beijing police have started a new round of initiatives targeting the Internet. The initiatives will run between July and August.

Online author, Jing Chu hit out at Fu's remarks, saying the public has the right to criticize the government.

[Jing Chu, Chinese Online Author]:
"How do you define "attack" when you talk about attacking the Communist Party, its leaders or the system? Can posting a couple of sentences amount to attack? Is the government without fault? Why can't we criticize it? It's a joke in the world for someone like Fu to be Beijing's police chief."

One netizen using the handle "She Mei" said on her Twitter-like Sina Weibo account: "Tell Fu Zhenghua we are taking on the Party, the country's leaders and the system, I challenge him to a duel, if he is game."

After the outcry, Fu Zhenghua's name is now a blocked search term on Sina Weibo.

So far this year, Beijing police have closed down 263 internet cafes, to, (quote), "protect the physical and mental health of young people." Police have also arrested more than 5,000 people for Internet-related crimes, and removed more than 360,000 "illegal" online posts, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

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