China is moving back to a surveillance state where people are watched, phones are tapped, the internet is controlled, hotel rooms are entered without permission and surveillance can even be found in the home. It is not by accident that China is also on the cutting edge of the development of face recognition software that will further erode individual freedoms. In addition, China is making it more difficult for the news media to report what is going on and limiting their freedom to travel. Even reporters in Hong Kong who have crossed a line with Beijing are finding that their visas are not being renewed. All of this is reminiscent of the days of Mao but it is taking place in a globalized world.
This will have major implications for the business community. Already, the government is holding international companies hostage for positions they take or anything on their web site that is contrary to China's image and politics.
More importantly this will potentially bring much more scrutiny to those who are in China to spread the gospel. Not that Christianity can be stamped out in a country with many believers but foreign missionaries may well find it much harder to find a valid reason to receive a visa. China is already doing battle with the church in various locations and the government is not trying to hide their actions.
It is my belief as well that Chinese students from the mainland are being watched in the United States more carefully for their associations with Americans and the church.
Below are links to an important article for those who desire to know more. It is a report entitled Under Watch: Reporting in China's Surveillance State. It is a report by the Foreign Correspondents Club of China. It ought to give us pause.
UNDER WATCH: REPORTING IN CHINA'S SURVAILLANCE STATE