Monday, December 28, 2009

Why the Xinhua News Agency Self Censors

I have been reading reports in the New York Times about the trial and sentencing of Liu Xiaobo for his role in drafting the Charter 08.

Here are 3 extracts from 3 reports:
"Xinhua carried the statement [of Mr. Liu's sentencing to 11 years in prison] only on its English-language service, and
not its Chinese service, an indication the news was for foreign
consumption and not for the Chinese public to know." (
"The state-controlled media has not covered Mr. Liu’s trial — nor has it allowed any mention of Charter 08." (
"Charter 08 signers have tried to show their solidarity by issuing letters
of protest over his case. The most recent one, signed by 165 people,
states, 'If Liu Xiaobo is found "guilty" that means each one of us is
guilty, and we have to shoulder the punishment together with Liu
Xiaobo.'” (

The gist of these 3 put together confirms my suspicion that the Chinese régime's objection to foreign expressions of concern about reports alleging human rights violations in China is primarily based in fear that people in China will be become aware of human rights discourse and become sensitized to the Chinese régime's suppression of the rights and entitlements of Chinese citizens.  So the Communist Party is not genuinely mainly concerned about this as a foreign policy issue of sovereignty but rather as a domestic policy issue of maintaining their authoritarian one-party rule as all costs.

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