Saturday, January 23, 2010

On Hurting Sino-US Ties

The Chinese Government made a statement today to counter the US Secretary of State's call for the Government of China to stop blocking its citizens' access to a wide range of websites. (
BEIJING (AFP) China on Friday said US calls for Internet freedom were "harmful" to bilateral ties, after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticised Chinese censorship of the web.
"We firmly oppose such words and deeds which go against the facts and are harmful to China-US relations," foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement posted on his ministry's website.

I do wonder about this aspect of "harmful to China-US relations."  What does this imply?  For example will the Chinese Government try and interfere with trade relations by violating China's WTO commitments?  Will the Chinese Government try and interfere with immigration matters such as withholding exit permission for Chinese students going to the US to study?  Will China cease to cooperate with the US in addressing international crises at the UN Security Council?  What is it about what Mrs. Clinton has said that "goes against the facts"?  Why does China respond to her statement with what are evidently empty menacing threats instead of something concrete and substantial?  I have many questions?  Leaving aside the usual invective, are there any fact-based answers to them?

1 comment:

Stockholm said...

The mystery is why? Why is the Chinese government afraid of YouTube, Facebook, etc. Is political power so fragile that the free flow of information is an existential matter for the authorities?