Chinese communist party spews blather about human rights while implementing stricter Internet controls

posted at 8:41 pm on September 12, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

While we’re on the subject of opprobrious, human-rights-crushing world leaders spewing hypocrisy by couching their nefarious deeds in deliberately misleading but pretty words, ahem, here’s yet another fresh example of the archetype doing the same, this time from the other major power perfectly happy to watch America be put in a corner. Via Businessweek:

At the same time China’s Internet censors are intensifying a crackdown on bloggers and other online activity, delegates convened in the capital for a two-day forum on human rights. The official Xinhua news agency reported the summit would attract more than 100 officials, diplomats, and human rights experts from the United Nations and dozens of countries to focus on “constructing an environment for sustainable human rights development.” Among the items on the agenda, according to Xinhua, are “rule of law, the Internet, and the protection of human rights.”

The meeting comes just days after Xinhua reported on harsh new penalties for people who go astray online. According to the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, people who post defamatory rumors online could face three years in jail if those comments are popular enough to attract more than 5,000 readers or more than 500 reposters. Online commenters will also be in danger if the allegedly defamed person commits suicide, hurts him or herself, or suffers from mental disorders.

Not surprisingly, human-rights groups are critical of this latest attempt by the government to censor Chinese cyberspace. The new criteria appear “arbitrary and open to abuse,” the advocacy group Chinese Human Rights Defenders said in a statement issued today.

In China, of course, a “forum on human rights” is reliably code for “a forum on human rights and how to further restrict them without attracting too much negative PR.”

China already has about a million and one different means of controlling what filters into and out of their “citizens’” web browsers, the compilation of which is generally known as the Great Firewall, and their new President Xi Jinping has been particularly touchy about preserving the status quo on behalf of the communist-party plutocracy. He’s big on showy displays and talking a good game about bringing about an ‘equitable society’ and bolstering ‘the rule of law’ and whatever other insincere crapola he goes on about, but he’s equally big on actually undercutting those values on the down-low. Shocker.


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If you like your doctor…

rogerb on September 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

In China, of course, a “forum on human rights” is reliably code for “a forum on human rights and how to further restrict them without attracting too much negative PR.”

Seems the Democratic Party and the Communists have a lot in common.

GarandFan on September 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

You would think that with as many hackers as the Chinese have, they would have no problem at all getting around the Great Firewall. Heh. And Bishop?

lfwest on September 12, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Drat! Not as fast as I thought I was.

lfwest on September 12, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Zero steps forward. It’s easy to talk. Talk is meaningless. What they do – that’s the thing that has an effect in real life and the future.

The Nerve on September 12, 2013 at 8:52 PM

‘Our pressing (China) on those issues (human rights) can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis.’

- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 20 February 2009

Evidently, all oppressed peoples are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Resist We Much on September 12, 2013 at 8:53 PM

Censoring the internet is a human rights issue???

Since when is the internet a human right?

patman77 on September 12, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Am I crazy or does that look like an outlined image of Che behind that Chinese gentleman?

Cindy Munford on September 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Are all your blurb-lines obliquely on-topic songs?

cause opposites
attract!

He’s big on showy displays and talking a good game about bringing about an ‘equitable society’ and bolstering ‘the rule of law’ and whatever other insincere crapola he goes on about, but he’s equally big on actually undercutting those values on the down-low.

Liberte, egalite, fraternite, baby! It’s what’s for dinner. :)

. . . it used to food.

Axe on September 12, 2013 at 9:05 PM

Am I crazy or does that look like an outlined image of Che behind that Chinese gentleman?

Cindy Munford on September 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Pretty sure it is.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 12, 2013 at 9:14 PM

Since when is the internet a human right?

patman77 on September 12, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Since our government decided they could spy on us by essentially collecting everything they wanted in a domestic spying program that is blatantly against our CIVIL RIGHTS!

Can humanity get along without Twitter? Yes. But, IMO, when it becomes less and less possible to live without the internet, preventing restrictions on that use do become a human right. I’d bet you that virtually every American (even those who do not use a computer) are “on the internet” every day. We need to protect our civil rights in the wake of unprecedented spying.

BTW, I realize that this has nothing to do with how China was terming the debate. I’m merely answering your more general question of the internet as a human right. In the 21st century, the state interfering with the internet is akin to them being able to open letters or tap phone calls- stuff that brought down more than a few political dissidents in China or Russia.

Happy Nomad on September 12, 2013 at 9:18 PM

He’s big on showy displays and talking a good game about bringing about an ‘equitable society’ and bolstering ‘the rule of law’ and whatever other insincere crapola he goes on about, but he’s equally big on actually undercutting those values on the down-low.

Actually, by his definitions, he’s being totally honest.

Like our present leadership, the Chicoms have their own dictionary.

An “equitable society” is one in which everyone is equally subject to Party control. The “rule of law” is the rule of the Party, which decides what the law says, and what it actually means.

And if you accuse him of “oppression”, he’ll say, “You’re alive, therefore you are not being oppressed. You may complain when you are in fact oppressed”.

Of course, after your next of kin have paid for the bullet, it’s a little difficult to get an appointment.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 12, 2013 at 9:18 PM

Am I crazy or does that look like an outlined image of Che behind that Chinese gentleman?

Cindy Munford on September 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Heh.

It’s either Che or Barky with straightened hair. You know, if Barky had a brown brother …

ShainS on September 12, 2013 at 9:21 PM

I was in China in 2009 adopting our 6 year old (at the time) daughter. Before I departed on my trip I purchased VPN access from a company called SwissVPN and had no problems getting to Facebook, Youtube, etc. But during the trip my other daughter wanted to watch Netflix streaming, but I couldn’t purchase US based VPN service through the Switzerland account since it’d alarm the credit card company. Fortunately, I had a computer running at my house that I was able to remote into and purchase a month of VPN access through a US based company. It took Netflix a bit longer to buffer, not necessarily due the VPN, but I believe it’s just how lame WIFI in most hotels tend to be.

timinnc on September 12, 2013 at 9:46 PM

timinnc on September 12, 2013 at 9:46 PM

I think you’re perhaps missing a couple of key points.

You were a foreigner in China. The government knew where you were, probably staying among other Westerners. You had financial means, tech skills, and a computer running back home.

My point is this. Your experience is probably not the same as a Chinese citizen trying to use the internet.

Happy Nomad on September 12, 2013 at 9:56 PM

My point is this. Your experience is probably not the same as a Chinese citizen trying to use the internet.

Happy Nomad on September 12, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Netflix streaming is now, I guess, a human right…

Urgh. They have MUCH bigger problems over there. Just ask any dog.

patman77 on September 12, 2013 at 10:07 PM

Since when is the internet a human right?

patman77 on September 12, 2013 at 8:59 PM

It’s a freedom of speech issue.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 12, 2013 at 11:03 PM

This is what China does. Throughout their history, the prevailing culture of the bureaucrat teaches that a public official must always speak with one “face” about improving society, doing good, upholding the law, and being just. This pleases the bureaucracy.

The other faces can then do whatever they want to anyone of a lower rank, and the public at large.

PXCharon on September 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Dark Current to post in . . . . . *crickets chirping*

Bubba Redneck on September 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Dark Current to post in . . . . . *crickets chirping*

Bubba Redneck on September 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Hey there Bubba. How’s the redneck life?

You were a foreigner in China. The government knew where you were, probably staying among other Westerners. You had financial means, tech skills, and a computer running back home.

My point is this. Your experience is probably not the same as a Chinese citizen trying to use the internet.

Happy Nomad on September 12, 2013 at 9:56 PM

In reality people interested in circumventing the Great Firewall can do so with relative ease. I agree they shouldn’t have to, but they can. (Even though Erika told us some months ago that VPN access was about to be cut off, it somehow never happened. I remember at the time some well-informed commenter doubted it would, wish I could remember his or her name…)

Also, Chinese people who work in foreign companies often have access to corporate networks which aren’t subject to the government censorship. That’s millions of people who don’t even need to make any special effort to get around it.

And would you believe HotAir isn’t blocked in China? Anyone who wants can come and get all the real information on China straight from Erika.

DarkCurrent on September 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Am I crazy or does that look like an outlined image of Che behind that Chinese gentleman?

Cindy Munford on September 12, 2013 at 9:00 PM

The gentleman is Xi Jinping, President of the PRC. I’d guess the photo was maybe taken during a trip to Cuba when he was Vice President.

DarkCurrent on September 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM

It’d be great if HA could actually send a blogger to China someday.

DarkCurrent on September 13, 2013 at 5:10 PM