China’s Political Discourse February 2022: The Chained Woman
By China Media Project
In February 2022, the story of a woman kept in chains in the city of Xuzhou came to dominate public opinion. The level of attention paid to the story of “the chained woman” (铁链女) surpassed even that paid to celebrity Chinese American freestyle skier Eileen Gu (谷爱凌), the three-time gold medalist for China who was the subject of widespread praise from many Chinese but also faced uncomfortable questions over her nationality. So many questions swirled around the case of “the chained woman” that official responses offered by government officials at the county, city and provincial levels in Jiangsu province did little to quell speculation and discussion.
Another story of note in February is one that could not be discussed at all on Chinese social media – the fact that Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) seemed to drop other members of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) in terms of mentions in the official Party-state media. Not only did Li lag far behind Xi Jinping, who has decisively dominated off…