Sunday, September 25, 2005

Chinese Censorship

This is another reason to doubt that China will become the economic force that so many predict. From the article:
Only "healthy and civilized news and information that is beneficial to the improvement of the quality of the nation, beneficial to its economic development and conducive to social progress" will be allowed, Xinhua said.


Blogger Gideon said...

I think sometimes with all the production coming out of China, people get the impression that it's now a more or less free country. It isn't. It's still very much a dictatorship, if a little less totalitarian than it was under Mao.

Take a look at this example. The New York Times reported Friday on China Lectured by Taiwan Ally and mentions that "Li Ao, a defiant and outspoken politician and author who says that Taiwan should unify with Communist China...chided China's leaders for suppressing free speech, ridiculed the university administration's fear of academic debate and advised students how to fight for freedom against official repression." All this during an address at Beijing University.

How was this reported in China you might ask? Well, not surprisingly, it wasn't. Take a look at this story on the speeches from the China Daily. Here's the only content from the speech that the story mentions:
In the speech, he claimed that China had never been as prosperous as it is today.

He said that the Communist Party of China is "the only party" that can take China on to global success.

In a similar vein, Li, in his speech at Peking University, said that young students should not only care about themselves and he encouraged them to build the confidence to shoulder responsibility for their motherland.

That country still has a long way to go.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

Thanks Gideon.

>That country still has a long way to go.<

There are a lot of cross-currents at work in China, and the outcome could go either way, i.e. either move towards a freer society or lapse back into the full-fledged totalitarian state it was during the '60's through '80's.

I'm far from an expert, but my guess is that the lack of any real individualism within chinese culture coupled with the fact that the West continues to teach everyone the wrong lessons, will ultimately weigh in favor of totalitarianism.

I hope I'm wrong...

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it becomes more prosperous, China will either stagnate or progress. I don't see the new merchant class allowing that stagnation to happen. Even a dictatorship can be ousted, as happened in Eastern Europe and the old USSR.

It may take 20-30 years, but China will pull out of it's status quo.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Amit Ghate said...

I hope you're right, but personally I don't buy the argument that just because some people see the practical/economical value of freedom, that it will inevitably flourish. Instead, I believe that moral arguments trump practical ones, and so without someone championing individualism and egoism, any economic freedom may be fleeting. And I don't (yet) see any public figures making those types of moral arguments in China or elsewhere.

12:31 PM  
Blogger tdaznavourian said...

[quote]As it becomes more prosperous, China will either stagnate or progress.[/quote]

Can a communist country really progress? In fact, I don't think China will even stagnate, it will probably retrogress just like the USSR.

7:33 AM  

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