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.