Home > Opinion, Philosophy > “information freedom” vs real information freedom

“information freedom” vs real information freedom

Remember Hillary Clinton recently preaching Internet “freedom” and “information freedom?”

Have you just read my prior post where I examined a wrong mindset in the “West” thinking the rest of the world are lurking to “steal” their information?

You have one case of “information freedom” and another case of “information lock up” from the same direction. Both can’t possibly come from the same mouth; I say one must come from the butt.

raventhorn2000 has articulated the real issue beautifully here for us, and I just want to quote him:

Freedom of Information, so championed by so many in the West, is the antithesis to the notion of IP ownership and Western Technology export control.

Afterall, why claim “ownership” on the most VALUABLE of modern knowledge, in terms of technologies that can feed billions and cure diseases?

What’s left for “Freedom of Information” other than vaunted empty talks of “democracy”?

So, let the Poor starving sick billions have “democracy” cake, but let them not touch the monopolistic information of the rich West, not even if they want to learn them or buy them?

*

I say this is also censorship, and it censors the most valuable of information from those who MOST need it, for nothing more than pure greed and monopoly of technological domination.

Give me censored news any day, but damned if I can’t buy good medicine for my people, I will pay someone to steal it, to save lives.

And to someone who claims ownership on knowledge, (and the Western governments):

Knowledge is meant to be shared. Know that you hold knowledge for the benefit of all man kind, not just your kind. If you relinquish your responsibilities to your fellow man for money, safety, security, or power, you shall have nothing at all.

Knowledge cannot be contained, cannot be owned.

  1. March 10th, 2011 at 19:21 | #1

    LOL:

    You have one case of “information freedom” and another case of “information lock up” from the same direction. Both can’t possibly come from the same mouth; I say one must come from the butt.

  2. Common Tater
    March 10th, 2011 at 19:52 | #2

    That is sooooo silly! So are you saying that businesses should just share their proprietary information with each other? If company A spends 1 billion USD developing a product, then they should give it for free to company B? And how would these dynamics change just because company A was in the USA and company B was in China?

    Freedom of information as normally construed by Westerners means access to information about their government, not access to private or commercial information.

    It seems you feel entitled to criticize the West at every turn without even doing a serious job of analysis.

    Really, you guys, you are so racist. Grow up!

  3. March 10th, 2011 at 20:18 | #3

    @Common Tater #2,

    Our ability to process idea is what make us human. It gives us hope, empowers us, improves our lives. That’s why education is such a basic human right. One may argue whether we as a species should share our resources (capital, money) more equitably (there is such a big gap between developed and developing populations), but I don’t think we should argue about ideas. If mere ideas can help the rest of the world improve their lives, those ideas ought to be spread.

    Anyways, if a company wants to spend gazillion on something, it is generally under no obligation to turn anything over. But a company should have no right to monopolize the knowledge no matter how much $$$ it spends. No one should be allowed to set up a tollbooth to knowledge. If others can reinvent, copy or otherwise reverse engineer the ideas, the ideas themselves should have free reign.

    Finally what is this arbitrary distinction between different kind of information. Information is information. Information that makes an impact of ordinary people’s lives should be promoted, whether they be “government” or “commercial” in nature.

  4. Common Tater
    March 11th, 2011 at 00:07 | #4

    @ Allen

    You are being way too vague, sorry, for your point to be useful. Can you relate your ideas to Clinton’s? Then we would have a concrete basis for discussion.

  5. March 11th, 2011 at 00:29 | #5

    @ Common Tater #4, no. I don’t know what you are talking about. Perhaps you can be more concrete about which of Clinton’s idea you wish me to talk about.

  6. Gilman Grundy
    March 11th, 2011 at 02:52 | #6

    Alright, talking of freedom of information, I’m really FOARP. Anyone now who wants to can find me.

    Gilman Grundy

    [rest of comment deleted by Allen]

  7. March 11th, 2011 at 05:42 | #7

    Tater,

    It’s simple.

    US pride itself on its technology knowledge. Chinese companies want to buy those knowledge.

    US GOVERNMENT impose restrictions on sale of those knowledge, NOT just on Chinese companies, but on ALL companies. (See, NO RACE, No nationality).

    See Huawai’s purchase of 7 patents from a bankrupted US company.

    Well, Chinese companies will get their hands on those technologies, ONE way or another. Reverse engineering, purchase from 3rd parties, etc. There are tons of ways. (Just for tit-for-tat kicks, I recommend mandatory body and laptop searches for all foreigners going into China at the Chinese border, since US obviously is searching Chinese nationals for “spies”.)

    And Forced IP transfer: Hey, US government can force companies NOT to sell technologies, Chinese government can FORCE companies TO sell. It’s just proportional response.

    No racism, just pure and simple diplomatic proportional response.

    Racism is in the US Technology Export Control laws, since it obviously discriminates against non-Western countries, including even India (a Democracy).

  8. Gilman Grundy
  9. March 11th, 2011 at 07:31 | #9

    Gilman/FOARP,

    Despite your simplistic and generalized characterization of commentors on HH, I don’t think too many people cares who you are.

    As for your own latest posts, you are wrong, the “West” does exist.

    One look at US Export Control Laws, and you can clearly see how US has defined the “West” as the category of its most favored allies. Nothing else can clearly define the borders of the “West” as US sees it.

    http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=59ee1d5eeb8f1d444ba88927fa1eaaff&rgn=div9&view=text&node=15:2.1.3.4.24.0.1.5.27&idno=15

    Countries with the fewest “X” get more technologies. Latin America are not favored, they are more similar to China on the list. South Korea and Japan are favored more than China.

    India is similar to China, (10 X’s vs. 11 X’s), even though India is Democratic.

    *You may say, that’s national security. Well, “national security” Obviously reveals how Americans perceive the world and their own “Western” identity.

    And this identity is obviously shared by the rest of the “West”, who help US maintain the export control.

    *Not some Chinese paranoia, more like “Western” paranoia set in national security laws.

    So, again, you are wrong. “Western” Governments basically admitted it in their own laws, by creating such open discriminations. That’s how the “West” sees the world.

  10. Common Tater
    March 11th, 2011 at 08:56 | #10

    @allen

    You are being too vague by saying,”information is information”. Is that supposed to mean something? Like, people are people? Or water is water?

    Anyway, the point about Clinton was that it’s this blog post that is attempting to link her comments to a general discussion on freedom of information. Since the topic is so broad, maybe you could narrow it down a bit in a way that connects the main idea of Clinton’s speech to the main idea of this post.

  11. March 11th, 2011 at 10:46 | #11

    @Common Tater #10, I was only responding to your comment in #2, not commenting about Clinton. More specifically, I was responding to what I thought was your defense of IP. But the broader issue is simple: West like to export democracy because it is deemed good and needed by the world, those who disagree be damned. Well, if the West cares about giving to the world (for free) what is good and needed – as it does democracy and human rights and all sorts of other ideologies – then surely it can give to the world (for free) knowledge that help people improve their livelihood. Why limit one but not the other? If this is not concrete enough for you, then we can end here. To me, this is the gist of the post. It’s not a discussion of “details” of someone’s writing (Clinton hasn’t written much worth reading really), but about the idea we are positing here.

  12. March 11th, 2011 at 10:49 | #12

    [deleted by Allen after finding out the response was in response to an impersonator of FOARP]

  13. March 11th, 2011 at 11:16 | #13

    Clinton’s (and West’s) criticisms of China are so broad, I wish they would “narrow” it down.

    Really, Tater, they sound like campaign slogans, not criticisms. (which I guess in the West, are similarly empty, broad, and meaningless).

    Let’s just say, Clinton has no SPECIFICS on “freedom of information”.

  14. Common Tater
    March 11th, 2011 at 11:42 | #14

    @Allen

    My earlier comment was also in response to the original post, which was obviously in response to Clinton’s speech. Are you saying it was not related?

    BTW, who exactly is “the West”? That’s quite a vague definition of an actor on the world stage.
    If you are talking about the values of Western civilization, you should know that there is a huge variation of interpretation and prioritization within these. Western values stem from a culture and history; it is not a singular entity with some kind of unified purpose. There is no agenda called “the West”. FYI

    Finally, if what Clinton has written is not worth mentioning, then why bother referring to her in the post?

    I’m sorry, your reply is rather confusing.

  15. Common Tater
    March 11th, 2011 at 11:44 | #15

    @raventhorn

    I think you have to understand the context of her remarks. That might be difficult if you come from a different culture, but not impossible. The main point is to avoid paranoia, as that might distort your perception of reality.

  16. March 11th, 2011 at 12:19 | #16

    @Common Tater #14, ok, let’s end here. I have no idea where you are going.

  17. March 11th, 2011 at 13:23 | #17

    Tater,

    “I think you have to understand the context of her remarks.”

    Well, I can’t understand her remarks, being so BROAD and GENERALIZED.

    I’m not paranoid, She’s being BROAD and non-specific in her criticism. I can only assume that her repeated non-specific criticism is her inability to perceive her own ideas and formulate coherent arguments.

    Why should I guess what she means? (That would be distortion of reality, if I started to guess her meanings).

    If you know the specifics of her criticisms, bring it. Otherwise, you have no point either.

  18. March 11th, 2011 at 13:53 | #18

    @Common Tater, #14,

    On “the West,” I suggest you go through every single news article and writing in “the West” and see how they use it. This term is used EVERYWHERE. You tell me, how people in “the West” use the term!

    (And of course see raventhorn2000 comment #9 above.)

    I was just reading this article. Who do you think Niall Ferguson is talking about – “the West?”

    “Western civilisation
    A success that looks like failure”

    http://www.economist.com/node/18329626

  19. Common Tater
    March 11th, 2011 at 19:08 | #19

    @YinYang

    I said as an actor: of course the West is an area. Don’t be silly! But Allen was saying stuff like, “If the West wants …”

    The West is highly pluralistic, so there is no set agenda called “the West”. Do you mean the current US administration? Or are you talking about the fuzzy hopes and dreams of the benevolent populace?

    @Allen

    It’s this post that was discussing Clinton’s speech. I was trying to find out what was meant by it. If you don’t actually have any analysis of her speech, then what are your comments about? Freedom in general? Wow! You’re so deep.

    What I mean by the context is this: who is she speaking for? How would those people interpret her remarks, through their cultural lens, or social or professional point of view?

  20. Common Tater
    March 11th, 2011 at 20:10 | #20

    FYI in general: It was a speech clearly intended for domestic consumption, a tone-setting speech on the Obama administration’s outlook on Internet freedom, primarily as it applies to political discussion. Nothing to do with IPR battles, security-related export restrictions, or other forms of rough play between nations.

    BTW, since most of your technology comes from the US and other Western nations, isn’t it a bit silly to criticize them on this level? Maybe a nice warm “Xie xie” would be in order? … Just kidding!

  21. March 11th, 2011 at 23:30 | #21

    @Common Tater

    Then list for me the “areas” that make up the West.

    There is absolutely a set agenda. Read my definition here about the Western Media:
    http://blog.hiddenharmonies.org/2011/02/what-is-the-western-media/

    Are they conspiring? That is an irrelevant question. I don’t care about that question as much. Do we care all that much if racists are committing racist acts in one physical location vs another due to conspiracy? They are racists because they are. The most important is to stop such acts. Conspiracy is a distant concern.

  22. March 11th, 2011 at 23:59 | #22

    @Common Tater #19, you are probably right, a lot of Clinton’s speech is political talk for domestic consumption. And the context you speak of – who is she speaking for? How would those people interpret her remarks, through their cultural lens, or social or professional point of view? – is no doubt interesting. But in terms of my logic, I take freedom of information at face value – through my lens and prejudices and view of the world. My point is still essentially what I made of it in the above comments though. IP when ram by the developed world on the developing world is evil. IP constrains knowledge and is the antithesis of the most basic of freedom – the freedom to use ideas to improve one’s livelihood. As a mere way to extract trade concessions, IP is inconsistent with basic humanity.

  23. xian
    March 12th, 2011 at 00:45 | #23

    Now I think we’re goin down a weird road. Knowledge is money, especially lifesaving knowledge. Every corporation and country is going to have IP/patenting and China is definitely no exception. Moralism is not as important as reality, guys.

  24. March 12th, 2011 at 01:04 | #24

    @xian #23, IP regimes creates artificial walls around the use of ideas for limited times on ground of a delicate balance between giving private incentives to “create” and ensuring public access to knowledge. If China finds IP useful for its development – fine. But the force of IP stands on that policy decision, not on some notion that knowledge should naturally be privitized.

    The argument of IP in the international context however is really about trade bargaining. Adopt IP or we don’t trade with you.

  25. xian
    March 12th, 2011 at 01:25 | #25

    @Allen
    I know, but that’s the point. IP policy isn’t about “humanity”, it’s about ownership, money, protectionism and so on. I’m saying the current status quo is reality, a reality that will persist for a long time and China is not, and should not be an exception. Even assuming China is not a developing country, would you support free distribution of any Chinese innovation? People would take the free lunch and walk all over China. In the context of trade bargaining it’s obvious outsiders want China to adopt their form of IP as a method to get China to agree with their view that China is stealing all their stuff, and thus have to do something about it. Frankly I don’t blame them, as we don’t live in a moralistic world. First person to tear down his walls is the first person that gets invaded. Let’s play the game right.

  26. March 12th, 2011 at 02:06 | #26

    Above comment was not made by me, but by whichever person it is who has decided to attack me in this way, and as a lot of people have been pointing out, no-one cares.

  27. Gilman Grundy
    March 12th, 2011 at 03:04 | #27

    [deleted by Allen]

  28. March 12th, 2011 at 08:42 | #28

    @Gilman Grundy, and everyone else: based on #26 and a quick look at ip addresses, etc., I believe some may be impersonating others. We are in the world of blogging. Even if some may not hold high regard of others based on past history, let’s at least get one thing straight, respect this forum. It’s ok to be anonymous, but please, do not confuse and impersonate.

  29. March 12th, 2011 at 08:49 | #29

    @xian #25,

    Reasonable people can definitely disagree about the merits of IP, but when people talk about “piracy” as the starting point of IP, I get very, very frustrated. This is not a China thing, it’s me as an IP practitioner and scholar talking.

    And yes, I do agree that realistically, for China to defend her rights, it’s more productive to work within the framework of IP rather than attack it outright. China can change its standards of obviouness, enablement, subject matter eligibility, conditions for compulsive licensing, etc. to suit its own level of development.

    As for your comment that “would you support free distribution of any Chinese innovation? People would take the free lunch and walk all over China.” Yes. Chinese IP policy help Chinese innovators internalize the benefits of their innovation. Chinese IP policy does not reach other nations. So if other nations want to make free use of Chinese IP, they should be able to, especially if they are from developing nations to serve developing populations. China should be a beacon of free ideas to the world. China is not giving up anything it already had. It would still have the ideas and the ability to practice those ideas.

    If China end up having a balance of trade problem with these nations (since China will be putting most of its resources into developing ideas not things, say), China can deal with the problem head on as balance of trade problems. China should not give up nor ask others to give up sovereign nations’ power to set development agenda as a condition for trade. Trade is trade. Development is development. Development should not be sacrificed for trade.

  30. Common Tater
    March 12th, 2011 at 10:51 | #30

    A quick comment, as it is late:

    @YinYang: I find your site interesting, but I am not going to read all your posts every time I disagree with some specific point you make. Let’s keep it about the topic, not just about what you have written, OK? As to the areas that make up the West, I am referring to geographic areas, and I am sure you can find sufficient sources online for that, without asking me to make extensive lists. The point is that the West is an area of the world, defined geographically, culturally and historically. It is not some sort of organization with a clear agenda, like a political party or corporation.

    @Allen: So, if Chinese people want freedom of information about what corrupt officials are doing in their region, then that should not be restricted by the CCP, as that affects their livelihood? Chinese people should have free access to financial information about economic transactions involving Chinese government and party officials, in such matters as land use and business licensing, and also formulae used to determine compensation relevant thereto. Is that what you are implying? All information should be free and unrestricted, if it has an economic impact for people? Or does that analysis only apply when it can be used as an argument against American policy?

    Yes, racism is bad. That includes when Chinese nationalists are overly and overtly negative towards Western civilization.

  31. March 12th, 2011 at 11:10 | #31

    @Common Tater

    I find your site interesting, but I am not going to read all your posts every time I disagree with some specific point you make.

    Thanks.

    But, I am not asking you to read every post. Just one post. Would you rather me copy and paste that whole thing here? It’s not that long a read.

    You are dodging my question. List around 5 countries you think that most represents the “West” geographically. It is not that hard. I am not going to nail you for incompleteness. After you make that list, I will show you how they have the same agenda.

  32. King Tubby
    March 12th, 2011 at 12:13 | #32

    @ Allen. I think you may be right and you have a seriouly deranged psychopath on your site. And he will return under another address on this site and elsewhere.

    Thats why I have a high regard for Kai Pan who was big on IP address due diligence.

  33. March 12th, 2011 at 22:42 | #33

    @Common Tater #30,

    You wrote:

    So, if Chinese people want freedom of information about what corrupt officials are doing in their region, then that should not be restricted by the CCP, as that affects their livelihood? Chinese people should have free access to financial information about economic transactions involving Chinese government and party officials, in such matters as land use and business licensing, and also formulae used to determine compensation relevant thereto. Is that what you are implying?

    Well, maybe, but not really. And while you are at it, you might even broaden that argument to all censorship in general.

    As we have discussed many times before, my personal take is that I believe in broad government regulatory powers. Just as government has broad powers to regulate the marketplace to make sure food is pure, consumer is protected, health information (e.g. food and drug labeling) is disseminated, education is required, so does the government have powers to regulate socially sensitive speech (speech that can cause social turmoil) such as hate speech and other corruptive speech. Some may be unwilling to trust the government in so much – but the thing is we already do trust the government to do so much and to have so much power. The government is the only institution in the world beholden to the people as a whole. Every other institution – nonprofits, church, political parties, media, etc. – are beholden to special interests. So I am for broad government powers, and a responsible government to back that up. I thus am for scientific-oriented governance (managing a country as you manage a company or any organization / institution, for example – which we have discussed in other threads), not a religious zeal of political distrust of government.

    As for revealing government transactions and other sensitive government information, I think the recent wikileaks episode teaches a lesson. While people who are for freedom of information would be in favor of protecting wikileaks, even they can see that dissemination of such information can weaken diplomacy, which can weak global coordination and perhaps even global governance.

    So, as wikileaks may reveal, freedom of information should be encouraged to some extent, but not necessarily to the extent they subvert governance. It’s a delicate balance, but again, in general I do not distrust the government.

    By the way, in my comment above, I was focused on the immorality of constraining knowledge that may help people in the developing world empower themselves – which to me is a moral issue – not lines where free speech is drawn – which to me is a regulatory issue. Every society draw this line differently – responsibility vs. freedom. Still, I thought a little tangent here doesn’t hurt that much.

  34. Common Tater
    March 14th, 2011 at 08:51 | #34

    @YinYang

    You constantly refer to your other blog posts. So, I will read them if I want, and not if I don’t want. If you have a point to make, make it in a concise way and offer a link to another post. But don’t predicate my response on reading more of your stuff, thanks.

    And you are not the judge of my completeness or incompleteness. Or if you pretend to be, I don’t care. So, if you have a point, make it, without trying to play games.

    But, for the sake of argument: Russia, Brazil, Israel, the USA, France. It’s hard to represent a diverse area without covering a lot of bases. But these are incredibly diverse nations. France may, at the government level, participate in the “War on Terror”, while disaffected North African descended youths in the banlieus of Paris hate the police and national government and their policies. Which one is “France”? Which nation is “the West”?

    I think you just want to keep things simple so you can take shots at “the West”. But it seems your understanding of it is quite narrow.

  35. March 14th, 2011 at 09:36 | #35

    @Common Tater

    Tell me when does the Western media refer to Russia as part of “the West.”

    Playing games? Forget it, I am done with you.

  36. March 14th, 2011 at 12:17 | #36

    @Common Tater #34,

    RE: “the West”

    You know, we can dig in and raise the cost of transaction of discourse by insisting on the definition of every term. What is democracy? What is communism? What is capitalism? What is censorship? What is China? What is Chinese? What is a nation? What is a people? etc., etc. Depending on the circumstances, we may need to dig deep; others, we just need a cursory take.

    I think for practical purposes, the West, in the context of most situations mentioned in this blog, can simply be defined as the Western military and political alliance. At its core, this includes the U.S. and countries in Western Europe. At its periphery, for certain specific purposes, it may include at times others such as Japan, Turkey, and South Korea.

    If you want to learn more about “the West,” here are links to some books / articles I have read recently (last few years).

    http://www.amazon.com/Clash-Civilizations-Remaking-World-Order/dp/0684844419

    http://www.amazon.com/Guns-Germs-Steel-Fates-Societies/dp/0393061310

    http://www.amazon.com/Western-Civilization-Jackson-J-Spielvogel/dp/0495502855/

    http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/59367/dominique-mo%C3%83%C2%AFsi/reinventing-the-west

    They are all a good read and may inform you something about the West.

  37. Common Tater
    March 15th, 2011 at 20:19 | #37

    @YinYang

    Oh, you are done with me? Boo hoo!

  38. Common Tater
    March 15th, 2011 at 20:30 | #38

    @Allen

    I don’t need to learn about “the West” from you! I have read most of those and many others besides. My point is that you cannot accuse a massive, diverse region of one agenda. That is intellectually lazy. That is a major fault of this site: very weak argumentative and logical standards. Maybe you should take a few logic classes, or read a book or something. Try Amazon…

    If you want to say, “American / NATO/ W European elites and their international big business and military establishments, including influence peddlers in the media” then say it. Even then, they are not unanimous in their views, including on China: many want to sell arms to China, others are quite amoral and don’t care at all about any abuses going on if they can make a buck; others, including many intellectuals and academics, genuinely believe in engaging China and enjoy its inspiring rise. Others think of China as a major new threat, and advocate harsh containment.

    The West has no one set agenda, although there are factions amongst powerful people, as described above.

    You guys just choose the criticisms of China or bonehead stupid stuff and say, “See! The West is at it again!” Pretty lame.

  39. March 16th, 2011 at 00:01 | #39

    @Common Tater #38,

    I hope you are right about the many strain of thinking and no set agenda in the West, because the dominant narrative which we refer to as Western is pretty depressing. As for “The West is at it again” – I certainly hope for a day where that is no longer relevant. In fact, I personally yearn for that day…

  40. March 16th, 2011 at 05:41 | #40

    “You guys just choose the criticisms of China or bonehead stupid stuff and say, “See! The West is at it again!” Pretty lame.”

    Plenty of material to work with. What’s lame about that?

    People in the Western media are apparently getting rich in making up the “bonehead stupid stuff” as NEWS.

    It’s not our “lameness” that they make it easy for us to point it all out.

    On the contrary, we point out the pretty obviously “LAME” material in the Western Media.

    Hey, be proud that you have the “freedom” to fill your lives with such “lameness” 24/7.

    I mean, if you are going to crap in your own pants, why not wear it on your head proudly?! Why call others lame for noticing your dark stains? LOL!

    🙂

  41. March 16th, 2011 at 08:40 | #41

    @Allen/Admin – I would be very grateful if you could scrub all comments here by FOARP/”Gilman Grundy” including this one.

    If this person is going to trawl all over the internet posting my professional record and making veiled threats against myself and my friends and family, at the very least they should not be allowed to use my name to do it.

  42. March 16th, 2011 at 09:29 | #42

    @FOARP #41,

    If you really insist on my taking down a bunch of comments (you know I rarely do that), send me a private email. The way I see it, since the links were to your own blog, where you have publicly announced yourself, and the professional record were copies of record you have put out on the Internet yourself, posting these information should not really violate your expectation of privacy. I will be more on guard against people impersonating here as well as posting out of topic comments, but I don’t think it’s necessary to scrub a whole series of comments. Let me know if you think I’ve erred.

  43. March 16th, 2011 at 10:16 | #43

    I agree with Allen.

    If FOARP believes that there is viable threats of violence or intimidation against him or his associates, he should report it to the law enforcements. But I do not see it here. (But I would say the discussion between FOARP and Gilman should proceed no further into the personal realm).

  44. March 16th, 2011 at 13:35 | #44

    I am deleting most of the nonrelevant comments about FOARP in this thread at FOARP’s personal request. As a blogger, I hope I never become embroiled personally with others to the same extent as demonstrated here. I am not taking sides here (the history is too complicated) but hope all parties take the time to reflect and come to the conclusion that personal vendettas is really not worth it, least of all in the blogging world.

  45. Charles Liu
    March 17th, 2011 at 23:41 | #45

    Here’s a perfect example of how ideological and in concert our controlled media is:

    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_646185.html

    China urges cautious reporting after Renault case
    BEIJING – CHINA’S Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it hoped people checked facts before unjustly implicating the country, after Renault bosses apologised to three executives falsely accused of industrial espionage.

    The case briefly caused tensions with China after a French government source said investigators were following up a possible link with China in the case before a formal inquiry was launched.

    Renault and the French government subsequently played down talk of the link, and China angrily denied any involvement.

    Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn and chief operating officer Patrick Pelata on Monday promised to compensate the men and offer to reinstate them after firing them in January amid a spy probe that has now turned into a fraud investigation.

    ‘I have noticed their clarification,’ Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

    ‘I hope that in the future, reporting related to China is carefully checked in a responsible manner,’ she added, without elaborating. — REUTERS

    Now that the “China industrial espionage” story come to an embarrassing end, few if any media or bloggers that so gleefully pointed finger at China has bothered to develop or correct the initial mis-reporting with the same parity.

  46. March 18th, 2011 at 02:18 | #46

    @Charles

    Indeed. These people know no shame and have no integrity.

  47. March 20th, 2011 at 01:36 | #47

    This is slightly of topic, but I really think the “Allied” interference in Libya is so unjustifiable as to be a crime. So allies are attacking Libya to protect Libyan rebels – errr… civilians? Where are the allied efforts to protect rebels – errr … civilians – in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

    As for our debate about there being no West – which is funny because we see that referred over and over again in Western media – here is the latest example.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/world/africa/21libya.html

    American and European forces began a broad campaign of strikes against the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Saturday, unleashing warplanes and missiles in a military intervention on a scale not seen in the Arab world since the Iraq war. On Sunday, American B-2 bombers were reported to have struck a major Libyan airfield.

    The international effort, called Operation Odyssey Dawn, may also present a double standard: While the West has taken punitive action against Libya, a relatively isolated Arab state, the governments in Bahrain and Yemen have faced few penalties after cracking down on their own protest movements.

    The United States, France and Britain had insisted that at least some Arab governments be involved in the Libyan operation, at least symbolically, to remove the chance that Colonel Qaddafi would portray the military action as another Western colonial intervention in pursuit of oil. But there was no sign that any Arab military would explicitly take part.

  48. Charles Liu
    March 20th, 2011 at 10:39 | #48

    I find very little critical analysis on the illegitmacy of recent coalition attack on Libya in our supposedly impartial media. The fly zone enforcement is being used as a pretext to launch broad based military attacks way beyond no fly zone enforcement:

    – attacking military installation not related to air defense
    – attacking Libyan ground force engaged with the rebel force, intervening in Libya’s civil war

    But I guess our free media is free to become part of this military-industrial-media complex to enforce our official narrative. After all, hundreds of cruise missiles popping off at a million dollars a piece is a huge free market force to controll and manipulate our “free media”.

  49. March 21st, 2011 at 08:22 | #49

    Perhaps similar to the Iraq War, this will turn out to be a military Blackmail-for-oil operation.

    UK and France will declare victory after Qaddafi agrees to some cease fire demarcation with the Rebels, and some “Oil for aid” program, in which UK and France will undoubtedly profit without any UN oversight.

    US has no stomach for this operation for long, since the 2012 election is coming up, so will also likely declare victory after a few bomb and “Mission Accomplished”.

  50. Common Tater
    March 22nd, 2011 at 22:10 | #50

    @anyone

    Admittedly, Russia is only considered part of the West by certain definitions. The point here is that people should not be too fast and loose with their definitions of the West. We should not turn this massive complex thing into a simple straw man to be cut down whenever anyone in that huge and complex region says or does something negative to a different culture.

  51. March 23rd, 2011 at 05:25 | #51

    Why not?

    The West defined itself as separate and better than every one else. As far as I’m concerned, the “West” made its own club of emperors with no cloth, and deserved to be ridiculed as such.

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