With Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly criticizing China’s Internet censorship, the Chinese government has gone on the offensive, denying Google’s insinuation from earlier this month that it’s been involved in hacking email accounts and labeling calls for an open Internet as self-interested fallacies.
Now maybe I’ve been brainwashed by U.S. propaganda and Google is simply the U.S. government’s “chess piece,” as China claims, but I found some of the Chinese commentary about Internet freedom seriously offensive. One such example came from an article in Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily (via the Wall Street Journal):
“It was America that initiated Internet warfare, using YouTube videos and Twitter micro-blog misinformation to split, incite, and sow discord between the conservative and reform factions…to bring about large-scale bloodshed in Iran.”
This comment comes from Yan Xuetong, head of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, who was quoted in the Communist Party-backed Global Times (via the New York Times):
“As the global landscape is undergoing profound irreversible shifts, the calculated free-Internet scheme is just one step of a U.S. tactic to preserve its hegemonic domination.”
And this, again from the People’s Daily (via the AP):
“In reality, this ‘Internet freedom’ that it is marketing everywhere is nothing but a diplomatic strategy, and only an illusion of freedom.”
Image by Flickr user googlisti.