Archive for May 6th, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Global Times: This is Unfair!

[Bin Laden] “defied the most unconquerable country and military with his thin and weak body, continuously embarrassed and defeated them, played a drama that was the most magnificent and respectable in human history.”

The – unverified – Chinese version, from woshou.com:

在当今以盎格鲁撒克逊文化为基础霸权文化,东讨西伐,苏东大厦倾覆,颜色革命汹涌,奴颜卑膝毕现,苟且偷生俯拾的侏儒岁月,本-拉登集使命感、勇气、智慧于一身,以其羸弱之軀单挑当今世界最不可一世的国家和军队,并不断捉弄和战胜他们,演出了人类史上最波澜壮阔、最令人敬佩的一出活剧。

If Hou Ning (侯宁) really wrote that, he should stand by it, or offer a new version, after spending some thought on it. One could say, for example, that bin-Laden stood out among the lot of “holy warriors”, after all – there was only one 9-11 (and not every mujaheddin inherited millions of dollars at an early age).  As I wrote on Wednesday, bin-Laden’s fan club went somewhat beyond the Islamist quarter, as his fan club seemed to include some rather secular do-gooders, too.

Do-gooders like Hou, who is no affiliate of a political party, but a patriot (爱国人士). The words he is quoted with can’t be found on his blog, and maybe only the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or Hou himself could shed more light into the issue. Either way, the Global Times (GT) suggests that Hou had in fact  used some unfortunate words. They had, however, been meant as a perhaps mistimed joke, writes the columnist, and:

It’s unfair to associate a whole country with sympathy for terrorism because of a few sporadic online posts.

I don’t doubt that Hou is indeed against terrorism, as the GT quotes him. He only admired bin-Laden – that doesn’t mean that he would have wanted to watch the man’s magnificient workings from one of the WTC twin towers on 9-11, not at all. And of course, the WSJ reporter who had contacted him concerning his bin-Laden obituary was not very good Putonghua. Just another one of those bad guys who don’t understand China.

But the Global Times understands the world:

With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq not yet over, and a new war in Libya, many Muslims still see the US as an essentially hostile force. Commentators generally agreed that the death of Bin Laden won’t mean the easy demise of terrorist movements.

Chinese people treasure a peaceful and secure environment, and they are alert against factors that may jeopardize this.

The US should mull on the fundamental reasons behind radical Islamist terror movements.

If the war in Afghanistan is the issue here, let’s expand the discussion to Xinjiang, just to make sure that it all becomes even more nebulous.

But 说真话的中国才是有希望的中国 (only a China that speaks the truth is a China of hope) it is not.

____________

Related
» The Reporter in the Rye, March 25, 2011
» Wu Sike corrects biased Views, Aug 17, 2009

Friday, May 6, 2011

Consensus: the “Internet Information Office”

Via Enorth (Tianjin) — The People’s Daily (人民日报) reiterates the role of the internet for scientific development and its role in public life:

The development of the internet and its management complement each other, development requires management, and management serves good and fast development. [...] As the country with the largest number of internet users worldwide, more than one third of the populations have now “touched upon the internet” (“触网”). It has become an essential part of new kinds of work, life, pasttime, education methods, and an important way for people to get news and to express their views. The rapid development of the Chinese internet (中国互联网的快速发展) has benefitted from the policies of reform and opening, from China’s sustained economic and social development, from international advanced technology and experience, and also from the Chinese government’s vigorous policies of promoting  the internet’s development.

However, as some internet experts (or scholars, 一些互联网学者) remind us, “every technology or science has a dark side, too” (“每一种技术或科学的馈赠都有其黑暗面”). In the process, some negative and negative (消极、负面的) contents are also featuring prominently.

In short: vulgarity, spreading rumours, a small amount of “violent internet behavior” (少数“网络暴力”行为突破法律底线), etc. The article refers to censorship (not naming it as such) as a consensus:

“Civilized handling of the internet, civilized surfing of the internet” (“文明办网、文明上网”)  has become the consensus of the internet industry and numerous internet users (成为互联网业界和广大网民的共识).

With that, the article returns to the issue of internet management, to firmly grasp the correct direction of building the internet culture (牢牢把握网络文化建设的正确方向).

The article itself doesn’t go into further detail, but Tianjin Online (天津网, also via Enorth) did, one day earlier, on Thursday. An Internet Information Office with the State Council (国家互联网信息办公室) is going to take care of the daily footnotes.

It will guide, coordinate, and supervise relevant departments in their strengthening of internet information content management (指导、协调、督促有关部门加强互联网信息内容管理), guide relevant departments in supervising and encouraging operating companies (指导有关部门督促电信运营企业), take care of the structure of the internet, IP address allocation, and lots of other useful things. The Internet Information Office is no independent agency, notes Tianjin Online, but will be part of the State Council Information Office.

Jordan Pouille, a correspondent in China, noted the arrival of this newly-born agency on Wednesday, while the rest of the world (this blogger included) was mostly busy with counting the bullets in bin-Laden’s head.

Chinese media have more recently moved towards advocating censorship, rather than somewhat bashfully hiding it under terms of spiritual hygiene. Huanqiu Shibao, frequently more outspoken than other papers, but not only very directly under the guidance of the propaganda department (as are all publications) but actually state-owned, even suggested that Chinese netizens should simply tolerate censorship (from a perspective of integral national interest) and China’s cultural elites should actually advocate censorship.

The two articles above could mark a return to a somewhat less aggressive propaganda approach. Huanqiu Shibao itself notes that the decision to establish the Internet Information Office had been met with positive reactions (without specifying the sources of such reactions). However, Huanqiu did ask an unnamed person in charge at the new office some questions (记者就此采访了国家互联网信息办公室负责人) who, in indirect speech, is basically basically quoted with the same information which had been aired by the media one day earlier, on Wednesday.

An additional information is that the masses won’t be disappointed (不辜负广大人民群众的期望). Besides – page 2 of the Huanqiu report quotes the official in charge as saying that

many countries worldwide have passed legislation concerning technology and industrial self-regulation, and the handling (or punishment) of illegal information. This is  common knowledge. (世界上许多国家都通过立法、技术和行业自律等措施,处置违法信息。这是众所周知的事实。)

Internationally, a few people had made remarks about China’s internet management were based on double-standards, irresponsible, and only intended to discredit China:

近期不少国家先后成立互联网管理协调机构,加强对互联网的管理。国际上少数人不顾基本事实,搞双重标准,对中国的互联网管理说三道四,意在抹黑中国,完全是别有用心,是站不住脚的。

____________

Related
» Internet Freedom is Cyberwarfare, April 1, 2011

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