Wednesday, October 3, 2012

When It Comes to Free Speech, State Media Editorial Says Chinese Should Ignore "Backwaters" Like Myanmar, Vietnam

On August 21, 2012, the state-sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled "Myanmar’s Reforms No Beacon for China" (无须拿缅、越改革做中国的图腾). Some excerpts:
Myanmar's Information Ministry announced Monday that it was abolishing the practice of pre-publication censorship. During his first interview with foreign media in January, Myanmese President Thein Sein said Myanmar is "on the right track," and does not "have any intention to draw back." He also urged the West to ease sanctions on his country.
. . . .
[I]n recent years, there have been voices in China that criticize the country's reforms. They see Myanmar and Vietnam as pioneers that are way ahead of China in carrying out reforms, and thus require China to learn from the two. This actually lacks objectivity.
. . . .
China's press freedom has walked a fairly long way. We need to walk further in the future. But China should follow the trend of the times and look at the practical situation of the nation, rather than being perplexed and even letting backwater countries like Myanmar and Vietnam become our idols.
Back in October 2011, the state-sponsored magazine Caijing published a short article on its website entitled "Facebook Gets Into Burma, Currently It Is Only Not Available in Four Countries: China, North Korea, Cuba, and Iran." (Facebook进入缅甸 目前仅未进入中国朝鲜古巴伊朗四国) stating: "The ban on Facebook and Twitter has been lifted in Burma. Recently, the Burmese government has also unblocked foreign news websites, including the BBC, VOA, and the video website Youtube."