The New York Times Propaganda: “Vast Hacking by a China Fearful of the Web”

On December 4, 2010, the New York Times published this article, “Vast Hacking by a China Fearful of the Web.” Well, if you actually spend just a little bit of time looking for facts supporting what the headline claims, you will not be surprised this is a tactic often employed by the U.S. media to smear other countries. There is no fact supporting the headline. They are all insinuations.

My retorts may come across to some as rants, because frankly, I think that’s all this article deserves. You will realize this article is really not trying to honestly make a case for the headline. It presumes the readers have already bought into it. This is a thinly veiled propaganda piece. Sadly, when it comes to China in the U.S. media, this is what we see. As this same propaganda is parroted throughout America, I feel compelled to chime in. America is better without it, because Americans are torn in all directions. She needs to reign in the budget deficit and reinvigorate herself to be more competitive.

The two NYT reporters start the article off with:

As China ratcheted up the pressure on Google to censor its Internet searches last year, the American Embassy sent a secret cable to Washington detailing one reason top Chinese leaders had become so obsessed with the Internet search company: they were Googling themselves.

Ok, some American diplomat thought some top Chinese leader ‘so obsessed’ with Google and even uses the service itself. If I am dumb enough, I’d say some senior Obama administration official is obsessed with Baidu and is searching for his name in Chinese! I suppose an Obama administration official searching in Chinese on Baidu is a “wow” moment. So, wake up, reader!

The May 18, 2009, cable, titled “Google China Paying Price for Resisting Censorship,” quoted a well-placed source as saying that Li Changchun, a member of China’s top ruling body, the Politburo Standing Committee, and the country’s senior propaganda official, was taken aback to discover that he could conduct Chinese-language searches on Google’s main international Web site. When Mr. Li typed his name into the search engine at google.com, he found “results critical of him.”

That cable from American diplomats was one of many made public by WikiLeaks that portray China’s leadership as nearly obsessed with the threat posed by the Internet to their grip on power — and, the reverse, by the opportunities it offered them, through hacking, to obtain secrets stored in computers of its rivals, especially the United States.

We are to believe all this because a ‘well-placed source’ said so. “results critical of him” is quoting the ‘well-placed source’ quoting Li or himself? Oh, that’s also quoting the American diplomat. And “one of many” supposed cables portraying China’s leadership “obsessed” and so on. How many, and how about quoting what was actually said in the cables? And, according to which diplomat?

Extensive hacking operations suspected of originating in China, including one leveled at Google, are a central theme in the cables. The operations began earlier and were aimed at a wider array of American government and military data than generally known, including on the computers of United States diplomats involved in climate change talks with China.

One cable, dated early this year, quoted a Chinese person with family connections to the elite as saying that Mr. Li himself directed an attack on Google’s servers in the United States, though that claim has been called into question. In an interview with The New York Times, the person cited in the cable said that Mr. Li personally oversaw a campaign against Google’s operations in China but the person did not know who directed the hacking attack.

So, the person is bogus and was exposed, but the fact that he said later that Mr. Li “personally oversaw a campaign against Google’s operations” is suppose to mean what? How about showing us some “campaign” plans? Emails? It doesn’t matter, because the authors of the article expect their readers have been sold; enough insinuation has been made.

The cables catalog the heavy pressure that was placed on Google to comply with local censorship laws, as well as Google’s willingness to comply — up to a point. That coercion began building years before the company finally decided to pull its search engine out of China last spring in the wake of the successful hacking attack on its home servers, which yielded Chinese dissidents’ e-mail accounts as well as Google’s proprietary source code.

Google has not provided any proof of the hacks coming from the Chinese government. Is there any connection between the email hack and the Chinese government? Where is the connection between Google’s stolen proprietary source code and the Chinese government? Is Google scared of showing evidence it has of the Chinese government behind these hacks?

The demands on Google went well beyond removing material on subjects like the Dalai Lama or the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Chinese officials also put pressure on the United States government to censor the Google Earth satellite imaging service by lowering the resolution of images of Chinese government facilities, warning that Washington could be held responsible if terrorists used that information to attack government or military facilities, the cables show. An American diplomat replied that Google was a private company and that he would report the request to Washington but that he had no sense about how the government would act.

Google in fact has tons of other problems with various governments around the world. The Chinese concern is legitimate. The authors are only too inept to realize it. Their priority was to suggest the Chinese concern could be ignored.

Yet despite the hints of paranoia that appear in some cables, there are also clear signs that Chinese leaders do not consider the Internet an unstoppable force for openness and democracy, as some Americans believe.

In fact, this spring, around the time of the Google pullout, China’s State Council Information Office delivered a triumphant report to the leadership on its work to regulate traffic online, according to a crucial Chinese contact cited by the State Department in a cable in early 2010, when contacted directly by The Times.

The message delivered by the office, the person said, was that “in the past, a lot of officials worried that the Web could not be controlled.”

“But through the Google incident and other increased controls and surveillance, like real-name registration, they reached a conclusion: the Web is fundamentally controllable,” the person said.

This myopic narrative about China and the Internet boiling down to ‘censorship’ and ‘democracy’ is making Americans stupid and ignorant. For starters, the authors of the NYT article should read the Chinese White Paper on the Internet – ““The Internet in China” 《中国互联网状况》白皮书” – and check out the “China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC)” (中国互联网络信息中心) so get a glimpse on how vibrant the Internet is in China.

That confidence may also reflect what the cables show are repeated and often successful hacking attacks from China on the United States government, private enterprises and Western allies that began by 2002, several years before such intrusions were widely reported in the United States.

Not so fast. “Attacks from China?” From the Chinese government? Attacks from the U.S. tops any such charts by miles. What about Chinese citizens computers infested by spyware born from the U.S. and hijacked to attack other computers around the world? Where are the facts?

By “such intrusions were widely reported in the United States,” these two NYT reporters will not want to point out the obvious – their and other U.S. media’s day in and day out spewing the same propaganda. The only fact is how wide this propaganda has spread.

At least one previously unreported attack in 2008, code-named Byzantine Candor by American investigators, yielded more than 50 megabytes of e-mails and a complete list of user names and passwords from an American government agency, a Nov. 3, 2008, cable revealed for the first time.

Again, are we talking about the Chinese government or some computer from China? “50 megabytes”, “Byzantine Candor” and “Nov. 3, 2008” sounds like a lot of facts. BUT, the fact remains what’s written doesn’t say anything about the Chinese government. BUT, American readers are certain to say this is the act of the Chinese government. We know the trick, NYT!

Precisely how these hacking attacks are coordinated is not clear. Many appear to rely on Chinese freelancers and an irregular army of “patriotic hackers” who operate with the support of civilian or military authorities, but not directly under their day-to-day control, the cables and interviews suggest.

Again, not so fast. “coordinated”? Who is coordinating? The writing says the coordination is ‘not clear.’ But it certainly sounds like something ‘big’ is behind it, doesn’t it?

“Many appear to rely on Chinese freelancers . . . ” – where is the proof? “”patriotic hackers”” sound so Chinese doesn’t it? These two sentences in the article are certainly two giant leaps – they might will take us to the moon!

But the cables also appear to contain some suppositions by Chinese and Americans passed along by diplomats. For example, the cable dated earlier this year referring to the hacking attack on Google said: “A well-placed contact claims that the Chinese government coordinated the recent intrusions of Google systems. According to our contact, the closely held operations were directed at the Politburo Standing Committee level.”

Okay, the cable said the ‘well-placed’ contact claims, and yadayada. It doesn’t matter, because the authors know this is enough to convict the Chinese government of the ‘coordinated intrusions’ where the ‘operations closely held’ for the brain dead reader.

The cable goes on to quote this person as saying that the hacking of Google “had been coordinated out of the State Council Information Office with the oversight” of Mr. Li and another Politburo member, Zhou Yongkang.” Mr. Zhou is China’s top security official.

But the person cited in the cable gave a divergent account. He detailed a campaign to press Google coordinated by the Propaganda Department’s director, Liu Yunshan. Mr. Li and Mr. Zhou issued approvals in several instances, he said, but he had no direct knowledge linking them to the hacking attack aimed at securing commercial secrets or dissidents’ e-mail accounts — considered the purview of security officials.

Okay, I think I need a PhD in understanding “facts” convolution to understand what was written above. Since most American readers don’t either, which the authors already knew, I guess buzzwords are only what’s needed for the conviction.

Still, the cables provide a patchwork of detail about cyberattacks that American officials believe originated in China with either the assistance or knowledge of the Chinese military.

For example, in 2008 Chinese intruders based in Shanghai and linked to the People’s Liberation Army used a computer document labeled “salary increase — survey and forecast” as bait as part of the sophisticated intrusion scheme that yielded more than 50 megabytes of e-mails and a complete list of user names and passwords from a United States government agency that was not identified.

The cables indicate that the American government has been fighting a pitched battle with intruders who have been clearly identified as using Chinese-language keyboards and physically located in China. In most cases the intruders took great pains to conceal their identities, but occasionally they let their guard down. In one case described in the documents, investigators tracked one of the intruders who was surfing the Web in Taiwan “for personal use.”

“linked to the PLA” – how? “Using Chinese-language keyboards”? This is evidence of Chinese government sponsored attacks? My goodness.

In June 2009 during climate change talks between the United States and China, the secretary of state’s office sent a secret cable warning about e-mail “spear phishing” attacks directed at five State Department employees in the Division of Ocean Affairs of the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.

The messages, which purport to come from a National Journal columnist, had the subject line “China and Climate Change.” The e-mail contained a PDF file that was intended to install a malicious software program known as Poison Ivy, which was meant to give an intruder complete control of the victim’s computer. That attack failed.

You are kidding me! “China and Climate Change” in the trojan email’s subject is proof that it is hacking by the Chinese government? Don’t forget the headline! Apparently this trick works, because if you read American reader comments below the article – ‘vast hacking by China’ is certainly their conclusion.

The cables also reveal that a surveillance system dubbed Ghostnet that stole information from the computers used by the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and South Asian governments and was uncovered in 2009 was linked to a second broad series of break-ins into American government computers code-named Byzantine Hades. Government investigators were able to make a “tenuous connection” between those break-ins and the People’s Liberation Army.

The word ‘tenuous’ means thin, as in virtually non-existent! Certainly, this tenuous bit of detail, perhaps the strongest evidence so far for ALL the instances of hacking linking to the Chinese government, is important enough to include here.

Imagine if there is real evidence linking the Chinese government to all these instances of hacks described. What do you think the authors had write about?

The documents also reveal that in 2008 German intelligence briefed American officials on similar attacks beginning in 2006 against the German government, including military, economic, science and technology, commercial, diplomatic, and research and development targets. The Germans described the attacks as preceding events like the German government’s meetings with the Chinese government.

“Preceeding meetings with the Chinese government” is reason enough for linking the hacking to the Chinese government? Brain dead.

Even as such attacks were occurring, Google made a corporate decision in 2006, controversial even within the company, to establish a domestic Chinese version of its search engine, called google.cn. In doing so, it agreed to comply with China’s censorship laws.

But despite that concession, Chinese officials were never comfortable with Google, the cables and interviews show.

This is a lie. Google along with a number of other Internet services firms (Chinese ones included) were in violation of China’s censorship rules at the end of 2008. That was made public by the Chinese government, and Google in their various press releases talked about it too. Google also talked about their software development efforts towards that compliance. The Chinese government was more than patient in getting Google to comply. Given how hostile the U.S. government is towards Huawei, I am surprised Google got away with breaking Chinese law for so long.

The Chinese claimed that Google Earth, the company’s satellite mapping software, offered detailed “images of China’s military, nuclear, space, energy and other sensitive government agency installations” that would be an asset to terrorists. A cable sent on Nov. 7, 2006, reported that Liu Jieyi, an assistant minister of foreign affairs, warned the American Embassy in Beijing that there would be “grave consequences” if terrorists exploited the imagery.

Again, the Chinese government has a legitimate concern. But the way this is written, it is trying to show the Chinese government threatening “grave consequences.”

A year later, another cable pointed out that Google searches for politically delicate terms would sometimes be automatically redirected to Baidu, the Chinese company that was Google’s main competitor in China. Baidu is known for scrubbing its own search engine of results that might be unwelcome to government censors.

This just does not make sense. Did Google ‘automatically redirect to Baidu’?

Google conducted numerous negotiations with officials in the State Council Information Office and other departments involved in censorship, propaganda and media licensing, the cables show. The May 18, 2009, cable that revealed pressure on the company by Mr. Li, the propaganda chief, said Google had taken some measures “to try and placate the government.” The cable also noted that Google had asked the American government to intervene with China on its behalf.

I am shocked the Chinese authorities didn’t simply fine Google for breaking the laws!

But Chinese officials became alarmed that Google still did less than its Chinese rivals to remove material Chinese officials considered offensive. Such material included information about Chinese dissidents and human rights issues, but also about central and provincial Chinese leaders and their children — considered an especially taboo topic, interviews with people quoted in the cables reveal.

Mr. Li, after apparently searching for information online on himself and his children, was reported to have stepped up pressure on Google. He also took steps to punish Google commercially, according to the May 18 cable.

The propaganda chief ordered three big state-owned Chinese telecommunications companies to stop doing business with Google. Mr. Li also demanded that Google executives remove any link between its sanitized Chinese Web site and its main international one, which he deemed “an illegal site,” the cable said.

“The propaganda chief” without the caps is a blatant personal attack. The authors are just mean, and here they are doing this again as well as at the beginning of this article. In the West, wouldn’t we simply refer to Mr. Li’s role as the “head of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission)” or something similar?

Mr. Li’s request of Google is not unreasonable for wanting to protect his children.

Google ultimately stopped complying with repeated censorship requests. It stopped offering a censored version of its search engine in China earlier this year, citing both the hacking attacks and its unwillingness to continue obeying censorship orders.

I suggest a read of one of our recent featured articles by Allen, “Google vs. China – Good vs. Evil?

Given this day in age, I won’t be surprised if some instances of the hacks described in the NYT article were from Chinese citizens. Perhaps the Chinese government was behind some of them. But the ongoing out-sized headlines across America smearing China without any evidence is clearly ridiculous.

The NYT author’s thinly veiled propaganda is clear for all of us to see.

44 thoughts on “The New York Times Propaganda: “Vast Hacking by a China Fearful of the Web”

  1. Allen – That’s right, I forgot to rant about the ‘fear.’

    During the dot com boom, the U.S. media predicted the Internet will bring about a revolution in China; implying it would topple the Chinese government.

    That obviously didn’t happen. But something else instead will.

    Back then, I had this prediction – Western media censorship of Chinese perspectives will only grow on the Internet. It is simple. More Chinese citizens coming online will be waken up by the flagrant biases hurl against them. Their only recourse is really to object in the comments. My prediction was their comments were going to be censored. The media may simply ‘politely’ turn off commenting altogether.

    The irony out of all this – who is fear mongering?!

  2. yinyang,

    While I am sympathetic to the use of the word “propaganda” to describe Western media (I myself have used that term), I don’t know if it will get any point across to use it so consistently.

    In the West, “propaganda” is bad because it is government instigated – it hinders people’s ability to discourse. It is not bad if it is only people-instigated.

    Media may be corporatized, but as long as they are not governmentized (although the government does have strong influence), all is well.

    It matters not if people live in a kind of make-believe world, whether the channels of information have been hijacked by corrupt institutions, practices, and ideologies, whether the democratic discourse are now exercised in the form of junk political ads, whether people are too engaged in materialism to stay informed about real issues, whether their children are not getting basic education to exercise the critical, independent thinking so important to the sustaining of any democracy, whether the mightly industrial-military complex have so effectively hijacked the political institutions of the West…

    Propaganda is but one path to a unconscious populace. Self inflicted doped deliruium is another. But people keep on pointing to China’s propoganda as something dangerous, not their own delirium.

    I find a striking vibrancy in people’s awareness of the world in China that I do not find in the West.

    That’s what troubles me. People are seeing ghosts in all the wrong places. This delirium – funadmentalist, religious fervor to see the world in black and white, as good versus evil, of free vs. not free – trouble me more than any NYT or government propaganda…

  3. Here is a blogger Adam Minter who looked up the leaked cables where he writes, “Would the New York Times publish wikileaks if they weren’t wikileaks?

    In China, at least, among the most anticipated of the wikileaks cables was the one that purportedly suggested that a member of the Chinese Politburo set off a crackdown on google after finding that searches for his name produced unflattering results. To me, at least, this seemed implausible (at least as a source-able news story), but I thought I’d at least wait for the actual cable to make a judgment. And today, I got that cable, dated May 18, 2009 (warning – that link may be blocked/shut down at any time). Interesting enough, Wikileaks blacks out the name of the Politburo official who purportedly was offended by the search – but the New York Times, for reasons unclear, could not resist and unmasks him as Li Changchun, China’s Propaganda chief. Neither party, however, identifies the source of this very high-level and damning story. But we do know this: a) there is only one source for this story, and b) it was not Li Changchun. Furthermore, we know that the author of the diplomatic cable wasn’t nearly as confident in the story as the authors of the New York Times piece, and s/he states this lack of confidence in the second to last sentence of the cable:

    “While we can neither confirm nor deny the provocative language and views attributed to xxxxxxxx, the claims of government-forced retribution by the major SOE telecom companies are cause for serious concern.”

    Now, it’s worth noting that a single source anecdote, backed by doubts from the reporting journalist, would automatically disqualify the Li Changchun story from any major newspaper or magazine in the United States – especially those with fact-checking departments, and especially the New York Times (newspaper of, ahem, record). Because, in effect, knowing what we know, for the single-sourced Li Changchun story to be true (in a fact-checked sense), the reader (or editor) is required to believe that Li, at some point, verbally expressed his displeasure at finding negative google results about himself to another person. That, or somebody saw Li google himself and find negative results. The former strikes me as highly unlikely – personal vanity, even at the highest levels of Chinese power, isn’t any more socially acceptable in China than it is in the US. You really are required to imagine Li saying to somebody: “I was googling myself the other day, and can you believe it – there were negative results!” Or, in the second case, and marginally more plausibly, you are required to imagine something like this “I heard over dinner from Li’s secretary that he went absolutely nuts when his kid came in and showed him the negative results that turn up when his dad’s name is googled.” And not to belabor the point, but I’ll point out again that the author of the cable doubts the story, too.

  4. yinyang, you really need to look up the meaning of the word ‘propaganda’, the NYT article is poor, speculative journalism, and nothing more. Despite how eager some US media outlets (NYT and WSJ come to mind) are to continue the ‘China threat’ narrative, at least US media is not state-controlled. You’re complaining about so-called propaganda in US media? Bottom line is China’s state-controlled media pumps out loads of propaganda every day, keeping its own people ignorant of the realities of China’s situation AND fueling Western mistrust. Yeah, people in the US are easily persuaded by NYT articles like this, but there is plenty of very intelligent, well-written, and unbiased journalism on China that Americans read every day…which is something you’d be hard-pressed to find in Chinese media (especially media like China Daily and Global Times).

    I’ll also agree with you that the internet culture in China is indeed quite ‘vibrant’, but it often does boil down to free speech for many Westerners, and for good reason, it’s only reinforced when they read headlines like this:

    “Chinese Woman Imprisoned for Twitter Message”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/world/asia/19beijing.html?_r=2&partner=rss&emc=rss

    What’s your interpretation of this kind of stuff, yinyang? And how about Liu Xiaobo’s situation? How can these be anything other than indications that the Chinese government is indeed “fearful of the internet”?

    At the very least, these events are just further verification that China’s govt. truly doesn’t care about it’s own constitution:

    “Article 35. Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.”

  5. @Brian
    While nothing in your comment was addressed me me, I will go ahead and address something you said:

    ‘At the very least, these events are just further verification that China’s govt. truly doesn’t care about it’s own constitution:

    “Article 35. Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.”’

    No, actually it DOES care about its own constitution. This is not the first time I’ve seen someone claiming that the PRC government is violating it’s own Constitution by dragging up an article regarding human or religious rights. But it shows more of the failure to actually read further than anything else. I am not sure who pointed you in such a cherry-picked statement but the PRC has equally been able to cherry-pick an article from their own Constitution that allows them to conduct some of the actions they did. That would be something a little ways down which you or whoever pointed the article 35 to you failed to read or chose to ignore; something that was listed as the very first subject of the word ‘infringe’…

    “Article 51. The exercise by citizens of the People’s Republic of China of their freedoms and rights may not infringe upon the interests of the state, of society and of the collective, or upon the lawful freedoms and rights of other citizens.”

    So you see, the ‘problem’ is not a case of the PRC violating its own article- but rather who can cherry-pick article 51 over 35 or some other article because it all comes down to how something is interpreted, what precedence is set, who is doing the interpreting, and who is setting the precedence.

    PS. About the twitter-imprisoned-woman:
    That woman twitted something related to “urging chinese patriots to burning down the Japanese pavilion at the Shanghai Expo during a time where the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island issue was flaring tensions. In her defense, she and/or her husband(?) then claims she was being sarcastic- it was meant to be a satire. I am not sure the exactly resulted in her punishment as jail and would rather see she just be fined and have her ISP pull her and/or ban her from local internet cafes for a time- I mean she did just in a sense scream fire in a movie theater when there was none. If you have other information about her, feel free to add. I only picked up the general view from AP’s (associated press) early release about the story on Yahoo.
    On the other hand… HOW OLD ARE YOU? DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMON SENSE?
    Had some crazy ‘patriots’ actually did that… how many may be killed or injured? what would be the diplomatic damage and ensuing embarrassment? So maybe they really saw a chance to make an example out of her. Of course, some news picked up a comment by a rights group(?) – or something- claiming it was a warning to dissidents (use of twitter to satire PRC/CCP(?)/nationalism/patriotism?). I think there were BETTER ways of making a satire than spreading the word on the internet to tell those ‘stupid propaganda brainwashed chicom patriots’ to set fire to that something Japanese in the expo… RIGHT? Keep in mind some white guy is under consideration for being prosecuted under the Espionage Act for releasing sensitive documents that may harm/sabotage diplomatic relations and endangers the lives of foreign military personnel and other agents; and such acts is seen as an act of terrorism by some. Regardless, she will (unfortunately) have some time to think about what she did.
    (no, I honestly think jail was a bit much [no bail?]. I much rather fine her a good wad, ban her from internet use for a good time… and give her a good’ol spanking… PERSONALLY)

  6. @HermitCrab

    Thanks for pointing out Article 51 to me. Admittedly, my search for “free speech rights” consisted of a quick scan of the PRC’s constitution, and you’re right, I didn’t read past Article 35. For that, I apologize. I suppose I was ignorant enough to think that when a constitution grants rights to citizens, it actually means something. Instead, judging by Article 51, it’s clear that Article 35 means absolutely nothing when the government finds it convenient to do so.

    So, you’re right, and I’m wrong. The government does indeed care about its constitution, because it’s clearly taken time to craft it in such a way so as to ensure that it creates a (poor) illusion of freedom of speech.

    As for the lady on Twitter, she was actually sent to a labor ‘re-education’ camp or whatever, not imprisoned (though I’m sure the camp is probably not a far cry from prison conditions). Do you really think I approve of her actions? I don’t. I’ll agree with you, it was certainly poor taste, and people shouldn’t urge others to commit violent crimes, whether they’re being serious or satirical. The point is, she didn’t actually DO anything, she merely SAID something. Had she actually DONE something, or been found to actively plotting/planning/organizing an attack, then yes, throw her in jail, execute her, whatever. I’m all for preventing violent crimes, terrorist attacks, etc., but a simple Tweet is not sufficient evidence to haul someone off to labor camp. Even fining her or banning her from the internet is too much.

    You’re asking me to keep in mind the whole Wikileaks mess, as if it’s some sort of parallel? Look, what Wikileaks does is an entirely different issue from some stupid lady on Twitter says.

  7. @Brian,

    On your accusation of China Daily, do you mind sharing with us an article and why you think it propagandistic? Preferably find a bunch as bad as this article, because this blog has written up quite a few about the U.S. media.

    I haven’t had chance to follow the “Chinese Woman Imprisoned for Twitter Message” story.

    re Liu Xiaobo
    You should read Sautman and Yan (also on our Featured Posts section)

    Liu Xiaobo Deserves an Ig Nobel Peace Prize” – the latest reaction to buzz the West

    The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo and what it means to the Chinese

    On the Liu Xiaobo story, the Western (U.S. and European) media were all out smearing the Chinese government. You won’t know the background unless you read the two articles I just linked.

    I am not espousing any type of conspiracy theory. I often say this – racists do not need to conspire to act out their racism; they can act both in unison and independent from each other. Public display of their actions can and will emboldened them.

  8. John Markoff is the same reporter that broke the “Lanxian Vocational School” story that was based on mistranslation by CDT (CDT gets $ from NED), as well as the “Chinese CRC code” claim from some blog that turned out to be questionable.

  9. @Brian

    “I suppose I was ignorant enough to think that when a constitution grants rights to citizens, it actually means something. Instead, judging by Article 51, it’s clear that Article 35 means absolutely nothing when the government finds it convenient to do so.”

    Actually you never thought it meant something as your first comment expressed you think the Chinese government didn’t follow it and your resulting comment still thinks so – just due to another article. The source may be different but your thinking doesn’t change – and I doubt you came here with any attentions of it doing so. You were just ignorant to think you can get any good information just from a quick search rather than reading something completely. If you want to know something, you have better to take the time and effort to look into it more. I understand if you do not have the time- not do I many times- but then don’t expect to be able to use it – nonetheless understand the situation/topic better than from some CTRL-F search for keywords. You and I wont just have information magically go into our heads by pressing enter to a website that we are not banned from or from being able to see how sill FOX is in comparison to another American mainstream news station. Regardless, your comment doesn’t say much for the many Chinese who have much freedom so as long they are not planning to overthrow the current government (that in any nation when plotted and carried out is a form of treason in case you failed to notice) – via by copying and pasting and promoting another certain democratic constitution and government structure or whatnot. Whether you like it or not (or like to admit it or not), there is a wide range of middle class support for the ‘regime’. Reason: they became the middle class because of the PRC government – a middle class that though percentage wise in China is small, the actual numbers that exist (lifted out of poverty) is still tremendous.

    If you want to hear why I think that: (else just skip down to “Twitter-lady”; use Ctrl-F)
    Whether you find that reason true or not does not matter; much like in America, if it happens under them, it is usually widely credited to them (by the masses). The PRC has huge federal powers and can use them to make dire decisions with haste. I am not claiming democracies can’t be fast paced- but they tend to be (to some extent meant to be) as they are cautious (one of the ideal roles of the ‘opposition balance’). In China case, huge risks but possibly huge rewards (i.e. Mao’s Great Leap vs. Deng’s ‘opening up’, and various other projects). You also may not have considered this but there is another factor many middle class does not really appeal to a democracy: their voice will get watered down by the masses of the poor. Again, China has many who are still migrant workers or farmers. If they are a democracy, the middle class (in cities) won’t have a large voice in that system at all. Yes, like it America, money talks too. It is not that the middle class do not care about their rights and freedoms – they do; the government also pays heed to that as they do not want to lose those middle class support. So it is mutual – address THEIR primary concerns voiced by the rising middle class and you get their support (including money and educated people) to help bolster your legitimacy. (Hence now you may see why the some middle class worry about losing the strength of their voice) And let me inform you, must like the ‘consumer generation’ in the USA, their primary concerns are more often “we want some x-luxury, affordable-y, and less inflation” than “we want to reform the constitution to emphasis individual rights”- but they do and have requested more space and more rights for themselves as well.

    In the end, the Constitution and the direction from Communism was a ‘communal emphasis’ – to no surprise. The state/community progress and right comes before the individual. (Some have said China historically [and culturally?] was more ‘state/community/family interests should trump individual interests’ so such movements and concepts appealed more. The PRC is also purely secular where religion will not influence/interfere the state matters and no religion and their organization overrides the authority of the state. You may not really notice this but if you were born a Citizen of the United States or if you were naturalized, you automatically inherit or take an oath (respectively) to defend the US Constitution and what it stands for: Multi-party tolerance (effectively still 2 party dominance- third parties are not illegal but has no chance of winning but they can only take some votes away and influence elections), influence of Natural Rights/individual guarantees, Federal system (settled in the US Civil War whether you like it or not – ‘Confeddy-rednecks’), etc. Some will take that to great pride (for better or for worse). Likewise, many Chinese are under the same impression with their own Constitution’s emphasis on one party, state power, group/community rights and progress over individual rights. Some of them will take their approach and ideas to great pride too (for better or for worse). You still may not understand why they don’t think like you or agree with you other than being ‘brainwashed’, but honestly they could very well see you in that same light (of course, you may certainly go back to the ‘but they are brainwashed’ excuse for this as well- and they would say the same of you again and it goes round and round).

    Side note: I mentioned it once before in another post but the PRC is somewhat examining Singapore. While Singapore is a democracy, they have been largely a one-party dominance. I believe one of the (former?) official expressed something along the lines: ‘those who want to change something and make Singapore better can just join the dominant party instead of the opposition’ (this blog has that paper/comment somewhere). If I interpret it more-or-less correctly, China be seen with the same slogan as well. Many Chinese do not want more violence. There has been enough bloodshed: WWII, Civil War, and the infamous events in Tiananmen. So want to change something you think will make China better? Join the party and make your way up to try it. There are many who were formerly educated in the West and are now in the Chinese Communist Party. Not all who join the CCP (especially those of newer generations) necessarily care about the ideology (even if they say they agree – kind of like ‘campaign promises’ to the CCP tops). How will the officials who were raised during the economic boom of China or in the West act when these new-gen/school reach a leadership role, what is their view on individual and media freedoms, and do they interpret this and that as in the or against the state interest vs. their ‘oldy/old-school’ predecessors? Time can only tell. And do not think there is no competition without a multiparty system. There is always competition. There are different ‘factions’ in the CCP and depending on what (type of policies) you emphasize, you will find (or be assigned) your ‘label’ and competition- populist vs. elitist, technocrats, etc. One possible reason why they do not want another party as well.

    In addressing rights: I personally want to see China’s court system addressed to a better degree. A good court system helps social stability (whatever your government) and will address some of the right violations. From what I understand, China’s local courts are locally funded – which means they tend to favor local interests… so if x-local-official wants to seize land off of some farmers and the farmers appeals to the local court… there is an conflict of interests (and the goal of the local courts is to take care of those minor issues so the top/national/supreme level ones do not get bogged in such ‘minor matters’). One thing about the western system of government is that they had a long time to mature their court system and work out the kinks as well as being based on separation of power to (help) ensure unbiased judgments (they are still federally funded regardless). So I will be interested to see what will be done to ‘mature’ China’s local courts and overall judicial system.

    Now, quickly to your address to me in regards to the Twitter-lady, you said:
    “The point is, she didn’t actually DO anything, she merely SAID something. Had she actually DONE something, or been found to actively plotting/planning/organizing an attack, then yes, throw her in jail, execute her, whatever.”

    You’re asking me to keep in mind the whole Wikileaks mess, as if it’s some sort of parallel? Look, what Wikileaks does is an entirely different issue from some stupid lady on Twitter says.”

    Yes Brian, I am purposely drawing a parallel. I am surprised as some advocate of individual freedom (as opposed for me to just assume you just some anti-Chinese troll like some other ‘netizens’ may on certain forums) and freedom of expressions that you do not draw a parallel. First off, she didn’t SAY something. She TYPED it and distributed it to the masses over the internet VIA TWITTER; much like how that certain someone UPLOADED documents and distributed it over the internet VIA WIKILEAK. And NEITHER were ‘plotting/planning/organizing an attack’. The best an opposition can come up with for either end is that it endangers the lives of certain people (civilians and/or military) and affects diplomatic relations; if you don’t understand it, people are relating Wikileaks release of secret documents it obtained as an act of terrorism because of those 2 reasons listed. In that respect, would urging the burning the Shanghai Expo’s Japanese pavilion not qualify as (at least an indirect act of) terrorism? Must one ram a jumbo-jet into it? No diplomatic problems would ensue from such suggestions and ‘God-forbid’ actual implementation of such acts by someone because of the Sino-Japan argument over those rocks out in sea? Sure, sadly she may have just been sarcastic but… that goes back to the ‘age and common sense’ question I had. The only thing that is ENTIRELY different is the degree of contents released. That lady released ONE blurp/comment targeted at a crowd that probably does not need anymore provoking but one can probably largely not take seriously. Hence, I do not believe she should be sent to jailed community service/reeducation camp and what not and instead would much rather see my implementation – including the mandatory personal spanking. The other person released something a hell lot more in quantity and popularity and reaching a lot more internet user interest (including other governments). What punishment awaits him, we shall see. If the sexual misconduct case does not put him behind bars, I’m expecting the US to pull another stop – via another nation or their Espionage Act.

  10. @HermitCrab

    I did some number crunching a while back – U.S. has 1 legal professional serving 300 citizens. China has 1 legal professional serving 9000 citizens. That is a measure of how far, and in fact how fast China is moving towards a better legal/justice system if we look at it quantitatively. China is indeed going through a massive transformation right now. The U.S. may be a nation full of lawsuits, but even if the norm is 1 to 3000, that is still a factor of 10x!

  11. Allen :

    I find a striking vibrancy in people’s awareness of the world in China that I do not find in the West.

    @Allen: Not necessarily. I was reading Pew’s Global Attitudes Survey today and guess what I found?
    76% of Chinese thought that the US takes Chinese national interest into account when making foreign policy. This is, of course, laughable. American foreign policy is always self-serving. Always has been and always will be.

    http://pewglobal.org/2010/06/17/obama-more-popular-abroad-than-at-home/2/

  12. @HermitCrab

    For all of your ranting, you sure don’t make much of a point. Twitter is a vehicle for SPEECH. Merely ‘speaking’ doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) constitute a crime. That’s my point. Let me know if you believe otherwise.

    Again, why are you so bent on lumping Twitter lady and Wikileaks into the same category? Wikileaks isn’t a ‘free speech’ issue because they RELEASED TO THE MEDIA CLASSIFIED GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS. It’s pretty clear, and I agree with you, that certainly amounts to a crime. I love that you go on to mention “The only thing that is ENTIRELY different is the degree of the contents released.” That’s EXACTLY what matters in this case, and it’s precisely why you can’t really draw a ‘free speech’ parallel.

    @YinYang

    Even if China had 1 legal professional per 300, or 200 people, without changing the law itself, the system won’t get any better.

  13. @Brian #15,

    I think we can all agree that the issue with wikileaks is the content released. The problem you fail to see is that that is what the issue is for all free speech cases / controversies. Whether the reason for restricting speech is public security, nation security, public morale, public policy, intellectual property, etc. does not matter, speech is often restricted – and restricted for a plethora of reasons having nothing to do with “freedom of speech” per se.

  14. @Brian

    I really think you are shooting from you mouth, and I mean this in a sincere way. If you want to get a glimpse into the legal landscape of China, I recommend you pay a visit to the China Law Blog (www.chinalawblog.com). They are one of the more reputable blogs about China by Western lawyers.

    China is in the midst of transforming into a law based society over the last few decades and the pace ain’t slowing either.

  15. @YinYang,

    When I see the number of lawyers rising in a society, that to me is not necessarily good.

    If we could suddenly double the intelligence of all doctors – what do we get? Perhaps a world that is twice is healthy.

    If we could double the intelligence of all scientists and engineers – what do we get? Perhaps a world that gets twice as much innovation.

    But what if we could suddenly double the intelligence of lawyers – what would we get? Nothing. Just a world that’s twice as noisy – with twice as much infighting…

    Stupid lawyer joke from a lawyer. 😉

  16. LOL.

    Verbal fights are better than physical fights. Not a pretty sight when a farmer goes after another farmer with a cleaver over one building unto the other’s land. Let there be lawyers be in-between. 🙂

  17. @silentvoice

    Agreed, silentvoice. I’ve yet to see any sort of “striking vibrancy” in Chinese people’s understanding of the world, aside from movies, music, clothing, cars, luxury items, etc. I mean 800+ million Chinese people are still farmers with relatively little connection to the world outside China (which you can’t really blame them for). China isn’t just Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities with 1+ million people, as much as China would like others to think…

    Yeah, there are plenty of very provincially-minded people in the US, as with any other country.

  18. @YinYang

    Pfft, yinyang, “shooting from the mouth” is calling a silly NYT article propaganda. Yeah, it’s part of a narrative that’s often very hard on China, but it’s NOT propaganda.

  19. @Brian

    @Brian
    I will try to be more to the point with you then.

    “Twitter is a vehicle for SPEECH. … Let me know if you believe otherwise.”

    So is a website… like blogs, wikipedia, and hence Wikileaks etc. Freedom of expression includes speech but in many forms- written or electronically written. The United States Supreme Court recognizes this since they were ultimately willing to flow with the times and interprets the US Constitution’s context with the current times- after all, no TV news or internet existed back when Jefferson was alive.

    “Again, why are you so bent on lumping Twitter lady and Wikileaks into the same category?

    Wikileaks isn’t a ‘free speech’ issue because they RELEASED TO THE MEDIA CLASSIFIED GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS.”

    In my opinion, wrong: Wikileaks is in the same category. They ARE a free speech issue because they published the information as they ARE a media outlet (like TV/film, books/newspapers, etc.) and feel they can legally publish/provide information that was ALREADY leaked. THEY (or he) DID NOT STEAL the documents themselves (himself). Think of it this way: had the Chinese government demanded the detainment of a man who released “sensitive”/secret documents of military orders – names and all- given to him from a unknown source – say we know it was a archiver of military records – related to the infamous Tienanmen Square incident on his blog, whos side would you be on? Would you consider their case acceptable to also prosecute and punish as well? Or would you cry foul as the PRC is violating freedom of speech and/or free press? Until you answer this, I have my doubts as to whether you are just China-bashing and/or ‘FOX-fed Republican, or are you actually a centralist on the matter of freedom of speech.

    “I love that you go on to mention “The only thing that is ENTIRELY different is the degree of the contents released.” That’s EXACTLY what matters in this case, and it’s precisely why you can’t really draw a ‘free speech’ parallel.”

    You and I disagree on one key thing: Whether this ‘ENTIRE/EXACT’ degree of difference between the two cases amounts to qualifying one as freedom of speech or not.

    My view is both are cases of Freedom of Speech. (reasons I already stated above)
    However, the punishment derived from the prosecution based on any interpreted violation by the government will different based on what is ‘ENTIRELY different’ – the degree. In other words, IF you are one to believe Wikileaks’ action of providing/publishing stolen documents to the public was a threat to lives of certain others, a security and diplomacy risk, and therefore should be punished, THEN so would a comment made on Twitter that caught the attention of some online officer/official because it was advocating for the burning of a Japanese pavilion at the Shanghai Expo during a time of Sino-Japan Tension – sarcastic or not aside (something you’d have to SOMEHOW prove in court). The difference is the degree of punishment as I feel jailing for that women is too much. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    If you believe that Freedom of Speech should NOT be restricted, neither cases should be prosecuted- PERIOD.

    Personally, I do support ‘limits’ on freedom of speech (not for unrestricted/totally free). However, the punishment – something we can agree – must be in proportion to the offense.

  20. YOU: “There is no fact supporting the headline. They are all insinuations.”

    ME: Where are your facts? All you do yourself is insinuations, commit the straw man fallacy, confuse the facts etc. In fact, saying your post is a rant because that’s all the NYT piece deserves is a circular argument: you need to prove the article is BS before we can simply accept that.

    YOU and the NYT: “The two NYT reporters start the article off with:
    As China ratcheted up the pressure on Google to censor its Internet searches last year, the American Embassy sent a secret cable to Washington detailing one reason top Chinese leaders had become so obsessed with the Internet search company: they were Googling themselves.
    Ok, some American diplomat thought some top Chinese leader ‘so obsessed’ with Google and even uses the service itself. If I am dumb enough, I’d say some senior Obama administration official is obsessed with Baidu and is searching for his name in Chinese! I suppose an Obama administration official searching in Chinese on Baidu is a “wow” moment. So, wake up, reader!”

    ME: It wasn’t about the fact that the Chinese leaders allegedly Google at all, but rather than they found material critical of themselves using it. What the heck does that have to do with Obama using Baidu, hunh?

    YOU: That cable from American diplomats was one of many made public by WikiLeaks that portray China’s leadership as nearly obsessed with the threat posed by the Internet to their grip on power — and, the reverse, by the opportunities it offered them, through hacking, to obtain secrets stored in computers of its rivals, especially the United States.

    ME: Well, there is the Great Firewall of China, isn’t there? Or is that more white-boy propaganda?

    YOU: One cable, dated early this year, quoted a Chinese person with family connections to the elite as saying that Mr. Li himself directed an attack on Google’s servers in the United States, though that claim has been called into question. In an interview with The New York Times, the person cited in the cable said that Mr. Li personally oversaw a campaign against Google’s operations in China but the person did not know who directed the hacking attack.

    So, the person is bogus and was exposed, but the fact that he said later that Mr. Li “personally oversaw a campaign against Google’s operations” is suppose to mean what? How about showing us some “campaign” plans? Emails? It doesn’t matter, because the authors of the article expect their readers have been sold; enough insinuation has been made.

    ME: Hnhh? So where does it say that the person is bogus and exposed? That is your own interpretation, and a pretty blatant and overheated one at that.

    YOU: The cables catalog the heavy pressure that was placed on Google to comply with local censorship laws, as well as Google’s willingness to comply — up to a point. That coercion began building years before the company finally decided to pull its search engine out of China last spring in the wake of the successful hacking attack on its home servers, which yielded Chinese dissidents’ e-mail accounts as well as Google’s proprietary source code.
    Google has not provided any proof of the hacks coming from the Chinese government. Is there any connection between the email hack and the Chinese government? Where is the connection between Google’s stolen proprietary source code and the Chinese government? Is Google scared of showing evidence it has of the Chinese government behind these hacks?
    Google in fact has tons of other problems with various governments around the world. The Chinese concern is legitimate.

    ME: Do any of these problems involve claims of government hacking? No. They are mainly about wireless data captures while roving Google vans drive the Earth, locating router and node signals to help with their navigation. No connection, except in your anti-American mind.

    YOU: The authors are only too inept to realize it. Their priority was to suggest the Chinese concern could be ignored.

    ME: You are too inept to realize what I have said. Your priority is to suggest that American concerns can be ignored.

    YOU: This myopic narrative about China and the Internet boiling down to ‘censorship’ and ‘democracy’ is making Americans stupid and ignorant. For starters, the authors of the NYT article should read the Chinese White Paper on the Internet – ““The Internet in China” 《中国互联网状况》白皮书” – and check out the “China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC)” (中国互联网络信息中心) so get a glimpse on how vibrant the Internet is in China.

    ME: That’s disingenuous. Many people know, and there have been numerous NYT articles about China’s vibrant online culture. The government suppression is another issue.

    YOU: Okay, I think I need a PhD in understanding “facts” convolution to understand what was written above. Since most American readers don’t either, which the authors already knew, I guess buzzwords are only what’s needed for the conviction.

    ME: Wow, you really look down on the American press and public. I guess that’s natural, what with your well-informed readers and noble, independent press outlets over there in China.

    YOU: Still, the cables provide a patchwork of detail about cyber attacks that American officials believe originated in China with either the assistance or knowledge of the Chinese military.
    For example, in 2008 Chinese intruders based in Shanghai and linked to the People’s Liberation Army used a computer document labeled “salary increase — survey and forecast” as bait as part of the sophisticated intrusion scheme that yielded more than 50 megabytes of e-mails and a complete list of user names and passwords from a United States government agency that was not identified.
    The cables indicate that the American government has been fighting a pitched battle with intruders who have been clearly identified as using Chinese-language keyboards and physically located in China. In most cases the intruders took great pains to conceal their identities, but occasionally they let their guard down. In one case described in the documents, investigators tracked one of the intruders who was surfing the Web in Taiwan “for personal use.”
    “linked to the PLA” – how? “Using Chinese-language keyboards”? This is evidence of Chinese government sponsored attacks? My goodness.

    ME: The article does not say that they were linked to the PLA because they were using Chinese language keyboards and physically located in China. This is a false connection on your part.

    YOU: In June 2009 during climate change talks between the United States and China, the secretary of state’s office sent a secret cable warning about e-mail “spear phishing” attacks directed at five State Department employees in the Division of Ocean Affairs of the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change.
    The messages, which purport to come from a National Journal columnist, had the subject line “China and Climate Change.” The e-mail contained a PDF file that was intended to install a malicious software program known as Poison Ivy, which was meant to give an intruder complete control of the victim’s computer. That attack failed.
    You are kidding me! “China and Climate Change” in the trojan email’s subject is proof that it is hacking by the Chinese government? Don’t forget the headline! Apparently this trick works, because if you read American reader comments below the article – ‘vast hacking by China’ is certainly their conclusion.

    The article does not say this. Another false connection on your part.

  21. @buddy up

    Thanks buddy up, I appreciate your efforts to walk through yinyang’s half-assed ‘analysis’ (rant) of the NYT article. It’s becoming pretty clear to me that this whole blog is one big forum for China apologists…

  22. @buddy up,

    “Where are your facts?”

    Buddy, that’s my question for the NYT authors.

    Could you do us all a favor by reading Adam Minter (comment #5 above) who actually read the cables pertaining to this NYT article.

    Also, could you simply pick ONE issue you feel strongly about in your comments (I appreciate your effort) and let’s see if we can come to some understanding? Thx.

  23. Pleeez, our own dissidents are always criminals, and China’s criminals are always dissidents.

    The Twitter lady? Read her financee’s subsquent tweets. Seems she was confrontational with the police and they threw the book at her. I’m not saying she deserved it, but it happens here too. If I b!tch out the popo I ain’t gonna have a nice day in America either. She fought the law, and the law won, boo effing hoo.

    This is while Bradly Manning, the supposed wikileaker and a dissident who followed his consicence, acted against America’s imperialist foreign policy, is held on a 52-year charge. Nobody knows where he is. Instead of being lauded as a champion of peace, CNN and Fox alike are plastering his photo on TV like OJ Simpson.

    Will Manning or Assagne ever be considered for Nobel Peace Prize? That, is double standard.

  24. ^-

    @Charles Liu

    Gone OT in the comment section but while we are on this:

    “Read her financee’s subsquent tweets.”

    So where did you read this news or the subsquent tweets? I am not into the twitter stuff so I am afraid I have no clue if this requires twitter to see or did someone upload a message log… or however it works. Link or website name it is on would be appreciated. The initial AP release about that I read never gave a time of the sentence either – if you know anything about that.

  25. Even if china actually was “guilty” of doing all these bad bad stuff to our beloved net,
    and pose an exitential threat to the internet free-dom loving folks…

    Stuxnet,

    heard of it any one?

    it is probablly the first successful application of a computer viral attack on physical infrastructure, by a national state.

    This is a bit of utter hypocrasy portraiting china is some how a rogue nation in using the computer virus and internet as an instrument of statecraft, while NYT’s staff could probablly hop in their car and drive with in 6 hours to the national security apparatus that actually sponsored, developed and depolyed a cyber virus weapon against the physical infrastructure of a sovereign state.

    compare to whatever chinese security apparatus was accused of doing, stuxnet make gmail hacks and server hacks look like child’s play.

    Pandora box was already opened. and guess what? it is probablly not china that opened it.

    f*ing hilarious article.

  26. and on Wikileak biz.

    What is the difference between Wikileak and Washington Post/Deep throat/Pentagon Papers.

    Nothing really.

    So why WashPo is treated with respect while Wikileak gets socked in the eye?

    fear.

    If US national security apparatus think Wikileak pose an existential threat. then ball-up and block Wikileak like china is doing.

    don’t pretend you uphold free-dom of speech etc etc by honoring some 3nd rate dissident on your payroll while other hand put pressure on wikileak, that…. would only make you look like an hypocrit.

  27. @HermitCrab
    I’m actually in agreement with you on Brian’s comment #7. Here’s the fiancee’s twitter page, you can dig thru November tweets to find the entry where he metioned she’s confrontational:

    https://twitter.com/wxhch

    The guy also recentlhy tweeted that the police will release her, if she writes apology letter and promise not to provoke anti-Japanese hate. Get this she refused. At this point no one is holding her at the detention center, just her own vindictiveness. Good god, can’t she see that given rioting against foreigner in China’s history, joking about charging the Japan Pavillion is a dumb idea?

    This in no way arises to level of human rights as propagandized by our media.

  28. @Charles Liu

    Thanks for the link. And yeesh, that is a ton of Chinese comments to translate. Will have to seek Nov’s indeed.

    I do have to note it seems I read and/or remembered the initial AP article wrong (or it has been corrected/deleted/etc. if I didn’t misread it because I can no longer verify the news article I saw as there are several same or similar articles by now) as I really thought it stated her comment was urging some sort of arson attack (set/cause fire) rather than riot attack (charge/smash). To mean arson would have been more serious a case. But it makes more sense the articles state she was sentenced for ‘disturbing social order’ for “charge it” than “burn it”.

  29. yinyang:

    Adam Minter’s piece is reasonable. He does some fair analysis of the issue. He does miss one point however, regarding single vs double source attribution. The NYT times story is based on the information in the Wikileaks. That is, it is a “Wikileaks says..” story and not a “China ordered attacks on Google..”story, at heart, although of course it is both. Hence, they didn’t need to double source it. Could and should the NYT have been more careful in its language? Yes. Could and should you have been in your tone use of straw man, deliberately confusing the facts etc? Even more so.
    You say you were just trying to say, “Were are the facts?” But in fact, you said a hell of a lot more than that. Could you respond to any of my specific points, please?

  30. @buddy up
    Have you looked into how ridiculous the claims against Chinese government hacking were?

    – The “military hacker cental” turned out to be a 3rd rate voc tech that teaches hair dresser how to print Word & Excel

    – The “China code” turned out to be from 80’s Novell programming guide

    I don’t blame DW for ranting at all. This article is strike 3, and they deserved it.

  31. @buddy up

    You “win.” I have given up on you.

    @SilentChinese

    “In VS Naipaul’s prophetic novel ‘A Bend in the River,’ Salim, the Indian-African narrator, laments his community’s political immaturity, envying Africa’s European conquerors: “an intelligent and energetic people”, who “wanted gold and slaves, like everybody else,” but who also “wanted statues put up to themselves as people who had done good things for the slaves”. Salim believes that the Europeans “could do one thing and say something quite different because they had an idea of what they owed to their civilisation”; and “they got both the slaves and statues”.” (Pankaj Mishra)

    There is a segment of our human race capable of invading and killing people and at the same time pat on their backs and trumpet their “humanity” in providing “freedom” and “democracy” to the said people. Luckily, I think we have come some ways, actually.

    The hypocrisy has remained equally astonishing though.

  32. @YinYang

    Oh, here’s some of that propaganda that I was referring to, courtesy of the trusty Global Times:

    http://opinion.globaltimes.cn/editorial/2010-12/600318.html

    Of course, it’s not directed at the Chinese, since it’s not in Chinese, and it’s an Op-Ed, but when you publish something without an author, I think the only option is to attribute it to the paper directly…

    This isn’t the strongest piece of what I consider ‘propaganda’, to me it’s really more about what the paper as a whole chooses to publish or not, but it’s just the kind of tone and overgeneralizations that I’m talking about that make it so damn transparent. Just something I came across.

  33. greed’s prisoner

    for the dispossessed wife

    a prisoner
    presses into the crowd of your life
    so cruel and full of greed
    won’t even let you
    buy a bouquet of flowers for yourself
    a piece of chocolate, a pretty dress
    he doesn’t give you
    time, not a single minute
    does he give you

    the smoke in your cupped palm
    he breathes in, breathes in, completely
    even the ashes don’t belong to you, his body
    in the prison of the Communist Party
    so that the spirit-cell you built
    without a door without a window
    without a thread of a crack
    locks you in solitude
    to rot

    he forces you to endure each night
    in the carcass of denunciation
    he controls your pen
    makes you write endless letters
    makes you desperate to find hope
    your suffering’s been trampled upon
    his boredom’s one pleasure

    that bird of yours
    is lost in the torturous palm-
    lines of his hand
    where each path
    has betrayed you

    this emptied-eyed all-ignorant dictatorship
    has plundered your corpse
    in one night white hair covers your crown
    completing his legend, his myth
    the moment he sees himself brimming with righteous deeds
    you already possess nothing
    but this prisoner
    has deathly-seized the white space of your future

    another sun comes
    once more he issues an order
    once more you must walk the road alone
    without body without memory
    using this hollowed life
    to carry his heavy book-load
    on the road to him
    he is very good at exploiting
    every chance to dispossess you
    of your possibilities

    beloved
    my wife
    in this dust-weary world of
    so much depravity
    why do you
    choose me alone to endure

    http://www.pen.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5500/prmID/1064

  34. Well, my whole point wasn’t to praise or defend the NYT, but rather to respond to the somewhat cavalier manner in which the paper’s article was critiqued. If you’re perspective is that one crap article deserves another, then, well fine.

  35. @buddy up #39,

    I will say, however, that the NYT piece is overblown and overwritten, based on its thin sourcing.

    Agreed!

    Problem is the NYT continually publishes crap like this…

  36. Excuse me? You guys trot up a youtube video that some guy says was faked, and that’s your response to the issue of government control of the media?

    Bwahahahaha! Who is disqualifying themselves from sensible further discussion? You are.

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