By Austin Ramzy

The Chinese state has some powerful tools when it comes to influencing public opinion on sensitive political topics. The government and the ruling Communist Party run many of the biggest traditional media outlets, and those that they don’t directly control, like some commercial newspapers, must also answer to the propaganda authorities. Online, a diverse array of censorship tools — like blocking foreign websites and forcing domestic blogs to delete posts and block search terms — help mold and guide the discussion of events.

Amid this array of sophisticated capabilities, the authorities have turned to an old and blunt means of persuasion: the public confession. Since August, the state-run China Central Television has shown suspects in high-profile cases with potential political sensitivities confessing on air, in some cases before they have been charged with wrongdoing or formally arrested. (Read the rest of the article)

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