Chinese Censor Assures World That There Is No Censorship In China

Lu_Wei_2015Senior Chinese official Lu Wei has made news this week by assuring the world that there is no censorship in China. He should know, Lu is the chief censor in China. If you cannot believe a government censor, who can you believe?

What is most striking about the interview with Lu is the Orwellian doublespeak that he used with absolute comfort and no apparent evidence of embarrassment or self-awareness. Lu insisted (in response to a CNN reporter) that “It is a misuse of words if you say ‘content censorship.’ But no censorship does not mean there is no management. The Chinese government learnt how to manage the internet from Western developed countries, we have not learnt enough yet.”

That “management” however concerns blocking those that Lu and his censors consider unfriendly because he insists that China “has the right to choose friends.” So it is not censorship just de-friending on a global scale. Lu said “As for who comes to my home, indeed I have to choose [to make sure] those who come are friends. We don’t welcome those who earn China’s money, take China’s market, and then slander China.” Of course, he is choosing for all Chinese people not his own computer in maintaining the Great Firewall of China.

Lu is the smiling face of Chinese authoritarian rule. This utter nonsense is the foundation for his system of repression and yet he is wined and dined through the world by countries and businesses eager to enter the Chinese market on his terms.

The greatest danger however is the growing calls for regulation and censorship in the West to address extremist sites and messages. As discussed earlier on PBS, those proposals can resonate with many of us but they often leave the question of definition dangerously undefined in asking for greater government intervention.


38 thoughts on “Chinese Censor Assures World That There Is No Censorship In China”

  1. The govt. preys on peoples fears. Some of the first things out of our govt. mouth[both parties] was the need for more metadata collection. Well, metadata was collected unfettered until just a few days prior to San Bernardino and the govt. was clueless. Dems were also quick to put the no fly list gun ban to a vote as Olly pointed out. The no fly list has many errors of omission and commission. Ted Kennedy and Congressman John Lewis were on the no fly list. Stephen Hayes, a reporter was on it. 18 month old toddlers and many stupid entries are on the no fly list. These 2 California terrorists were NOT on the no fly list. The no fly list has NO DUE PROCESS and to use a list w/ NO DUE PROCESS to abridge a CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT should scare the hell out of you!

    These are scary times. But, knowledge is power. Knee jerk curtailment of constitutional rights, pandering and manipulating people’s righteous fears, is demagoguery. And, it is coming from both the left and right. The govt. is quick to take away rights, and give rights only grudgingly. Along those same lines, new taxes come easy to the govt. and are nearly impossible to rescind.

    Here is the big truth the govt. will NEVER tell you. They cannot protect us from most crime, be it street or terrorists. “The Lord helps them who help themselves.” Arm yourself w/ knowledge and means of self protection. Be aware of your surroundings @ all times. And, in times of crisis, be one of those brave Americans who thwarted the Paris subway attack, for no other reason than to save yourself and others.

  2. Olly

    I get it. Trust me, I get it. My comments aren’t an enthusiastic vote for an authoritarian, repressive regime, so devoid of the most basic of human liberties and freedoms. Quite the contrary. There will be, however, no need to fret or worry over the loss or lack of liberty and freedom if there is no handle on security and safety, first and foremost. Failing to address that pivotal concern will prove to be catastrophic. Liberty and freedom don’t coexist alongside mass murder and mayhem. That story has been written before, as well.

  3. bam bam,
    There is a trade-off of certain liberties for security as part of the social contract. I get the theory of that but the reality is I have no confidence our government will honor their end of the contract. What is even worse is we already have a large percentage of the electorate that has no desire to limit government power. So what does this mean? It means terrorism wins because the terrorism boogeyman will always be the justification for just one more loss of liberty for a bit more security. This story has been written before and for some insane reason no one bothers to read the ending. It’s not a happy one.

  4. BamBam: In days of old when knights were bold and rubbers weren’t invented you could pour anything you wanted to into the Mississppi and it was legal. Pollution laws are not censorship. We need to keep itShay out of itShay Creek or we will be up that creek without a paddle. Stopping terrorists from communicating is not fornicating free speech. It is stopping terrorists in their tracks. Maybe we need the grinning all the tea in China guy to come give us some advice. China says that they do not have any muslims. They are lucky.

  5. Olly

    Read my entire comment, please. That unfettered access to the internet, where radical and homicidal groups–based around the world–openly and actively seek, via the internet, to incite and recruit others to kill and slaughter in the name of some death cult, should be reexamined. The most recent mass murder in California, by all accounts, was instigated and/or propelled by and through contacts made via the internet with known terrorist groups. While China will never be held up as a bastion of freedom, some of that infamous Chinese wisdom should not be ignored as it pertains to securing our safety and security in 2015. The world has changed, dramatically, and those who wish to survive will learn to adapt to the necessary changes needed to confront those evils. Yep, that includes kissing some of our freedoms goodbye.

  6. Unfettered access to the internet? I want that. What I don’t want are companies that provide it to people for criminal activities. So if Facebook for instance is providing access for criminal activity then why can’t that activity be shutdown? I’m sure that I’m missing something there.

    This story reminds me of the demand right now to restrict gun sales to anyone on the terrorist watch list. That certainly seems to be a reasonable demand until you realize people are on that list “by mistake”. So you are a law-abiding citizen that wants to purchase a weapon and you are told you cannot because you are on this list. How difficult is it to get your name cleared? Is this like Asset Forfeiture where you are guilty until proven innocent and then you never get all of your property back? This to me will be the end run around the 2nd amendment and all the government needs to do is add you to this list.

  7. We could stand to have some more sex censorship too. Why the hell can kids all use their cell phone now for sexting and all that generating tons of child porn and nobody cares? Is it ok that Apple computer decidd in our vaunted “Democracy” that it was time to unleash the porn culture on kids? We used to have laws holding ISPs responsible for child porn postings but DCMA safe harbors has cast that aside too. The cultural degradation of the west has accelerated to malignant levels. This American people who have no sexual self control at all, are not going to have any other kind of self control either.

    But the rich and powerful want it that way right? Thats why “liberty” always cuts first and foremost away at any kind of sexual restrictions at all.

    Marquis de Sade was not loyal to his aristocratic caste/ he was a libertine and a revolutionary too and he understood the socially disruptive potential of porn and his book “Justine” is a prime historical example of it.

    Trust me the Chinese understand this and so do a lot of other countries. Good for them if they actually exercise some sovereignty in their own lands.

  8. This comfortableness with redefining censorship and not recognizing it when they do it reminds me of the scientists who claim they do not censor creationist theories in science. People in authority always have a penchant toward censorship no matter what country you live in, and they are usually always blind to how much censorship they practice.

  9. What the Chinese are “preserving” is an oppressive government w/ little freedom for its people. What we in the US need to preserve are our unique freedoms. While there is a constant battle to find the balance between freedom and security, to compare the US situation vis a vis terrorism, to the country of China, shows a fundamental lack of knowledge. The Chinese are preserving OPPRESSION. We are finding the balance to preserve FREEDOM. Now, reasonable people can disagree on how to find our balance, but China is not, and never should be, our model for anything, except maybe on how we should eat!

  10. Almost everyone in America has forgotten that China is a Communist State. Yeah, they embrace Capitalism when it suits them. Just look at the guy’s suit. Not a Mao suit and no Mao hat. But the Communist Party runs China and they are despots. They are Pol Pots with bigger slots. I will go back and read the article above and see if the word Communist is mentioned. I know that JT employed the words “authoritarian rule”. Hell, you get that in a Catholic grade school presided over by a nun with a ruler.

    When we speak of Communist China let us employ the right terms and call a spade a spade and not an Ace of Hearts. That grinning Communist in the photo is the worst thing to wander out of China and then go back in a half century.

  11. Characterizing any government’s actions collectively is a slippery slope, especially when the characterization is based on official propaganda. Prosecuting whistle blowers, treating official press releases as fact, using linguistics to demonize certain national leaders and groups of people, treating political messaging as “classified” information, disallowing criticism of Israel, are similar to censorship. Allowing official propaganda to be treated as fact is as onerous as censorship.

  12. Really? Authoritarian rule? How about the quest for self-preservation? Stability? Safety? While the Chinese are not going to win any awards for human rights, remember that politicians, in our own country, constantly speak of the threat posed by ISIS, and other terrorists, who take full advantage of the wide open internet to recruit and radicalize individuals around the world. We moan, groan and wring our collective hands as people, like the murderers in California, mow down innocent men and women at a Christmas party, knowing full well that part of that mysterious, alleged radicalization which caused the massacre was closely associated with the internet’s unfettered access to terrorists thousands of miles away. The Chinese get that. While it may offend our Western sensibilities, as we don’t hesitate to criticize the often repressive Chinese government, how many of us would trade some censorship and/or limited internet access if we believed that such restrictions would make us safer and more secure? Let’s ask the surviving family members of those who were slaughtered one day at work in California–would you be willing to give up some freedom of access to information provided by the internet in the name of safety and security, where ISIS recruiting sites, for example, were blocked? The Chinese are crazy? Yeah. Crazy like a fox.

  13. Biggest rises and falls in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index


    “Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example, far from it. Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. Investigative journalism often suffers as a result.

    This has been the case in the UNITED STATES (46TH), WHICH FELL 13 PLACES, one of the most significant declines, amid increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks. The trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning and the pursuit of NSA analyst Edward Snowden were warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest.

    US journalists were stunned by the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press phone records without warning in order to identify the source of a CIA leak. It served as a reminder of the urgent need for a “shield law” to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources at the federal level. The revival of the legislative process is little consolation for James Risen of The New York Times, who is subject to a court order to testify against a former CIA employee accused of leaking classified information. And less still for Barrett Brown, a young freelance journalist facing 105 years in prison in connection with the posting of information that hackers obtained from Statfor, a private intelligence company with close ties to the federal government.”

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