Slavery by the Press

| Thanks to the Hidden Harmonies China Blog for the link |

The typical Westernized European living in foreign lands (Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand) believes that “freedom of the press” is a requirement for national progress. From the Asia Society‘s article: Experts: On 15th Anniversary of Hong Kong Handover, Deng’s ‘Experiment’ Endures, three European males mention press freedom as a concern for Chinese administrated Hong Kong.

From Winston Lord (Former Ambassador to China and a director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea), “freedom of the press” will result in:

  • Forward movement
  • Political autonomy
  • Less censorship
  • The revelation of political abuse and corruption
  • Electoral fairness by voting consensus

From Orville Schell (Arthur Ross Director of Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations), the “unfettered exercise of the press free” will aid in:

  • Hong Kong independence from China
  • Less mainland manipulation and pressure
  • Elections that are democratic
  • Smartness in governance unlike the Chinese model

From Jeffrey Wasserstrom (Asia Society Associate Fellow and co-editor of Chinese Characters: Profiles of Fast-Changing Lives in a Fast-Changing Land), the lack of “increased censorship of newspapers” have or will aid in:

  • The availability of books not allowed in the PRC
  • Films on university campuses which are not allowed in the PRC
  • Political independence
  • Freer Internet access

Could Winston Lord explain why China needs to move forward and not backward or remain in stasis? When China moved forward on European terms it resulted in colonization, a decrease in national wealth and over 20 unequal treaties (one of which gave Hong Kong to the English). When Japan moved forward on European ideology, it turned into a barbaric imperial power, just like many European colonial powers.

And what of Puerto Rico? Is this how political autonomy American style works? (from Wikipedia):

The United States federal government controls interstate trade, foreign commerce, customs, aviation and navigation, immigration, currency, all military and naval matters, radio and television communications, mining and minerals, highways, the postal system, social security, and other areas generally controlled by the federal government in the United States. As in the case of a state, the United States Supreme Court also has the final say over the constitutionality of Puerto Rican laws.

Why did the US government censor some of the images of its European citizens abusing Arab males during the Iraq invasion/colonization? The typical reason is that America had good reason for doing so. But why not afford the Chinese that same logic? And why is the press free US 47th on the Reporters Without Border’s World Press Freedom Index (2011) and not in the top 5? Are American elections truly democratic? Then why does it not implement an Aussie proportional representation style government?

Would Orville Schell explain why Hong Kong should be independent from China when he was born in an imperialist nation which still has colonies? Did press freedom prevent the American colonization of the Philippines or Japan? Did it apologize for trying to colonize China? Doesn’t America manipulate and pressure other nations through its diplomacy? Is it not currently manipulating and pressuring China in the South China Sea with the presence of its peace-loving warships? Perhaps it should be renamed the ‘South American Sea’. And doesn’t saying, “And, if Beijing were smart, they would resist seeking to apply greater controls” tantamount to saying that you (one European male) know what’s best for 1.3 billion non-European people? Is that why your country thought that 3 unequal treaties were in the best interest of the Chinese?

Why did America allow ~ 160,000 kgs of Chinese silver to go to the British and ~ 80,000 kg of silver to the French? (Treaty of Tientsin). Why did America allow the Boxer Protocol to pillage ~ 40,000,000 kgs of silver from China? Did the Chinese not require food and shelter like other peoples? How refreshing the logic of an American who knows (like his European ethnics who stole a continental landmass) what is in the best interest of China.

Can Mr Wasserstrom list what books and films China desperately needs to advance into the degeneracy that is America? Can he explain exactly how America is politically independent if only two parties occasionally rotate power? Should China simply create another Communist party to become democratic? And why shouldn’t the Internet be censored? Does America not try to censor child pornography?

Let us free ourselves from the illusion that press freedom correlates with social freedom. Press freedom can be illusory (America) or reactionary (China) but in both cases, it means that the press is complicit in mental enslavement of one form or the other. Rather, freedom of the press like all social freedoms, needs to be tempered by what is best for the majority of a country’s citizens. One would think that a civilization that is at least 4,000 years old would not require help from imperialist citizens of a British hack of less than 250 years.

China, like all nations, needs to stop focusing on external building. They need to build internal value structures in its citizens with principles of righteousness, respect, accountability and relationship. Then and only then, will ‘externalities’ like press freedom become natural derivations of the Chinese internal character and China will become a truly great civilization prepared for continuity.


Asia Society. 2012. Experts: On 15th Anniversary of Hong Kong Handover, Deng’s ‘Experiment’ Endures. [accessed: 2012-07-03].


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