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A freer China? Chinese political rights and civil liberties in 2028

According to Freedom House, an NGO, China’s authoritarian regime has become increasingly repressive in recent years. The ruling Chinese Communist Party is tightening its control over the media, online speech, religious groups, and civil society associations while undermining already modest rule-of-law reforms.

Last year, Party authorities tightened political, social, and media restrictions in Beijing and across China in the months ahead of the October gathering. Implementation of a Cybersecurity Law and other new regulations resulted in a crackdown on VPNs, penalties for private technology companies whose censorship measures were deemed insufficient, tighter enforcement of real-name registration rules online, and greater pressure on users to censor themselves and each other.

New regulations that took effect in February 2018 further restricted the scope for religious freedoms, particularly for children’s religious education. An already massive security presence in Xinjiang grew, and restrictions on free expression, travel, and religious practice in the region expanded to affect not only Uighurs but also Kazakhs and other Muslim ethnic minorities, many of whom were detained on the pretext of countering terrorism and possibly up to a million Uighurs may have been sent to extralegal political indoctrination centers .

According to Freedom House's 2018 report, the condition of Chinese Political Rights (i.e. the state of its electoral process, the extent of political pluralism and participation, the functioning of its government, and discretionary political rights) deteriorated to its lowest point in at least 15 years in 2017.

The reported condition of Civil Liberties (i.e. freedom of expression and belief, associational and organisational freedoms, the rule of law, and personal autonomy and individual rights) have only slightly worsened since 2005.

Freedom House reports annual scores of Chinese Political Rights (with a score 0-40: 0=Least Free 40=Most Free) and Civil Liberties (with a score 0-60: 0=Least Free 60=Most Free). The current scores for China are 0 for Political Rights, and 14 for Civil Liberties. The Total Aggregate score is the sum of these two scores. 2017’s aggregate score is therefore 14.

What will be the total aggregate score given to China by Freedom House in 2028?

This number is expected be published in Freedom House's 2029 annual Freedom in the World report. The question resolves as ambiguous if their reports are discontinued.

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