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China Says Its Internet Policies Are Open and Clear 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do dept.
itwbennett writes "Responding to a U.S. request to explain China's policies regarding blocking U.S. websites, China's foreign ministry said the country's Internet policies have been open and clear. 'The Chinese government encourages and actively supports the Internet's development and we also protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China,' said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu. 'We welcome foreign companies to invest and develop here, and we will continue to foster an open policy market.' The request, filed under World Trade Organization rules, is an effort to understand the trade impact of such blocking after a number of U.S. businesses have made complaints about access to their websites in China."
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China Says Its Internet Policies Are Open and Clear

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  • Act first, apologize later is how that regime acts! They're pathetic.
    • I recall a South Park episode, I believe the Chinese forgot to make positive reference to our reproductive biology.
    • Where's Michael Kristopeit when we need him?
      We just need to channel him away from slashdot users to foreign affairs commentary.

      • Where's Michael Kristopeit when we need him?
        We just need to channel him away from slashdot users to foreign affairs commentary.

        Screw Micheal, we need Dr. Bob! Only by treating subluxations can we cure China!

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          Hmm, maybe Kim Jong-Il (NK, I know...) could use a chiropractor, it might help with his issues...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TechLA (2482532)
      I would say that US is more pathetic. At least China keeps it within their own region. US takes it everywhere with ACTA, DMCA and actually making Verisign and ICANN remove domains for copyright infringement. China filters and doesn't affect other countries.

      Regardless, the summary here is again written in such a manner that it's only there to gain responses like "fuck China!". They *are* very open about their policies. US less so, where everything seems to be done secretly. ACTA has been and is being pushe
      • China doesn't push for ACTA and such because they don't give a rat's ass if they're pirating software from the rest of the world. Hell, they practically depend on piracy, knockoffs, etc from the west. I also find it funny that they are open about these policies when TFS said "The Chinese government encourages and actively supports the Internet's development and we also protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China", which is such outright bullshit that you wonder why they even bother spinning this
      • I would say that US is more pathetic. At least China keeps it within their own region. US takes it everywhere with ACTA, DMCA and actually making Verisign and ICANN remove domains for copyright infringement. China filters and doesn't affect other countries.

        Don't forget drone attacks. "Ooops sorry our drone blew up the people at that wedding reception."

        • by Coren22 (1625475)

          Who were probably shooting into the air and risking the lives of everyone for miles around...

      • by Stargoat (658863) *

        I think the Africans [guardian.co.uk] might [chinaafricarealstory.com] disagree with you. [cnn.com]

    • How come is the WTO getting involved? I bet someone told them China blocked their eBay store, or something like that. That is something that might really upset the WTO. And then China responded, knowing the exact words to soothe the capitalist organization, no, no, we're not blocking eBay stores, in fact you can come to China to start your own eBay store yourself, we'll even give you tax breaks if you want.

      • by St.Creed (853824)

        They block facebook and twitter, denying those companies access to advertising revenue (well, facebook at least) and game income (facebook again - i haven't a clue what twitters revenue model is). Since they are thereby protecting the Chinese companies that are doing the same thing (weibo, most notably) its a trade issue.

        A ban on imports from certain (or all) countries is a WTO violation, normally.

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      Just like the US gov removing .com and .net domains however they like. Just as unclear.

      At least the Chinese gov isn't being a hypocrite, something the US government is guilty of multiple times for decades.

      • "The Chinese government encourages and actively supports the Internet's development and we also protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China"

        Right, because that's perfectly true and not hypocritical in the slightest.
      • by maugle (1369813)

        At least the Chinese gov isn't being a hypocrite

        Can you really say that with a straight face? They just said they protect the freedom of expression of their citizens! I don't think they've ever not cracked down on any expression that's critical of how things are being run.

      • Also, is hypocrisy somehow worse than repressive totalitarianism now? Given that you're right about the US's saying one thing and doing another, the shit we're doing is still comparatively damn minor compared to jailing people for protesting online.

        People always pull that out: "At least I'm not a hypocrite!" Well, some things are worse than hypocrisy, so that's not a "get out of responsibility for your actions, free" card.

        Note that "the shit we're doing is minor" is meant to be limited to online censorshi

        • Personally, I think that hypocrisy is a perfectly normal human frailty. Everyone is guilty of it to some extent, its not even worth criticising someone for.

          • by Coren22 (1625475)

            There is nothing wrong with striving to an ideal even if you are unable to reach it yourself. That is the definition of hypocracy.

      • by Coren22 (1625475)

        So, a website (on US property... .com is US run) breaking US laws, should be allowed to continue to run...in the US?

    • ok so any 'regime' (democratic or otherwise) which "Acts first, apologizes later" is pathetic?

      Cos that applies to a lot of them including ones that some may hold in high esteem such as the USA for example.

    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @07:50PM (#37785466) Homepage

      Ya, 99% chance it's BS. However, with nasty inflation hitting all the major cities in China (food now costs as much as here in the US), perhaps they're begging for foreign investment again. But that's purely conjecture on my part.

      • Inflation not just hit all cities in china, but also villages too. From my visit to my hometown, I noticed that one kilogram of eggs, last year, was 4 yuans. Now it is 10 yuans. When my wife was in high school, an egg roll snack would cost 2.5 yuans. Now it is 6 yuans. I fully support Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as she is looking out for the interests of Chinese citizens. I am proud of China for what it is - capitalistic, energetic, and full of opportunities.
      • by Cyberax (705495)

        Not really. High inflation is a RESULT of foreign investment and fixed exchange policy.

      • However, with nasty inflation hitting all the major cities in China (food now costs as much as here in the US)

        Baloney, Im visiting over here right now (one of the 3 major cities), and food is about 1/6th as much as in the US. A 30 mile taxi ride was about $25. And a large KFC meal can be had for about 20 RMB-- about $3. Ive also heard how much some apartments cost in the area, and it is REALLY cheap when you compare with apartments in DC or NYC.

        So inflation there may be, but youre out of your mind if you think food costs anywhere near as much as the US. 1 USD still goes a really long way over here.

        • Apparently I was a little soon in speaking.

          So things like Papa Johns and KFC are much closer to (and sometimes more than) US prices. But for food on the streets, you can still get a ton for $1.

          Others have commented that for some things prices are indeed higher, especially compared to a few years ago. Groceries tend to be cheaper, however.

          A lot of it probably has to do with the huge number of people without a lot of money who make their living selling things on the street; the bigger companies tend to char

    • by Kvasio (127200)

      more open than in France, where you cannot discuss illegal actions by police anymore [techpresident.com]

  • This morning that crazy Italian MP and now this, what the fuck is going on today with the world ???
    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      Same thing that has been going on for the past 3000+ years.

      Now we have nukes, though.

  • and we also protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China

    I can't even come up with a response to this.

    • by ddxexex (1664191)

      and we also protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China

      I can't even come up with a response to this.

      I'm pretty sure there's a quote that basically says that in Soviet Poland (?) There is freedom of speech, but in the US there is freedom after speech.

      • by shaitand (626655)

        "but in the US there is freedom after speech."

        Unless you didn't have a state issued permit or said something negative about a business that cost them money (even if true). Or if an emotionally unstable did something emotionally unstable in response to your words.

        • "but in the US there is freedom after speech."

          Unless you didn't have a state issued permit or said something negative about a business that cost them money (even if true). Or if an emotionally unstable did something emotionally unstable in response to your words.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone [wikipedia.org]

          theres your 'free speech' right there, in that cage designated for the purpose.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Sure you can - just remember to take deep breaths every so often, between bouts of furious laughter. It's all in the diaphragm.

    • by Megahard (1053072)

      and we also protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China

      I can't even come up with a response to this.

      1984.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)
      I can. "Bullshit." An amazing phrase, I recommend you try it out sometime :)
    • Re:Best Part (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fliptout (9217) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @08:36PM (#37785884) Homepage

      Well, the truth is that many Chinese citizens want this type of censorship to protect them. Most Chinese are conditioned to think that the harmony of the state takes precedence over all else. It follows that any major source of chaos needs to be stamped out.

      I doubt most slashdotters or even most Westerners realize this critical cultural difference. Like it or now, that is the type of thinking you are up against. Conventional wisdom in China says that change is slow, because there are so many people and a lot of cultural inertia.

      Change is coming to China, very slowly. All those Chinese with elite foreign education are returning to China, and those returning chafe at restricted internet access and other abridged privileges (unless they're in government).

      On another note, in Chinese intellectual circles a common discussion is how to manage the decline of the West. We (Westerners) need to become more sophisticated in how we spar with our friendly adversaries.

      • There factories are like the very OLD US with no safety, have to pay for on site room and board, working off the clock, and other stuff.

      • by gutnor (872759)
        Yes an No.

        They don't view censorship as we do, they accept it as a tool the government use for their well-being. Now, if you ask a Chinese if he thinks that protecting corrupt politicians, hiding abuse (economical or physical) of his friends, keeping him in poverty or lying to him about decisions that are killing him (like health issues) is part of his well-being, I'm sure you will hear a different tune. What the chinese elite sees when they go back in China is abuse of government power, however their sol


    • Article 54. It is the duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to safeguard the security, honour and interests of the motherland; they must not commit acts detrimental to the security, honour and interests of the motherland.

      Article 55. It is the sacred obligation of every citizen of the People's Republic of China to defend the motherland and resist aggression. It is the honourable duty of citizens of the People's Republic of China to perform military service and join the militia in accordance with

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        It's worth noting that "article 55" is true for Finland and Switzerland. Two countries that you could argue to be far more "free" and "democratic" then US. We have universal conscription, and it's largely viewed as an honor to serve your country.
        Of course we have a history of having to defend our sovereignty with armed forces rather then using army to project interests of our country outside our borders.

        Article 54 on the other hand is present in pretty much any modern state. It's the law against treason, wh

        • It's worth noting that the US used to require universal militia service as well. The Militia Act of 1792 required that all white men of military age keep serviceable rifles/muskets (it was literally illegal not to own a gun) and a certain minimum number of cartridges therefore and report to militia musters on a regular schedule.

          Sadly we as a society rapidly grew too lazy to continue this extremely healthy practice.
          • by Ltap (1572175)
            Or, alternatively, militias were made obsolete by modern professional armies and are now rather quaint. The time when a war could be fought with the weapons and combat experience any given citizen had is long past. The only purpose this would serve would be to give random people combat training, even ones who do not want it. As well, arguing that the USA needs much of a military for self-defense is laughable -- the USA's military is used almost entirely in other countries, with the exclusion of the National
            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              You're very wrong. Gaddafi's Libya used militia system, with very weak and useless central army and very powerful and well equipped militias under direct command of each tribal authority.

              They were so efficient that they were able to almost win a war even under massive bombardment from NATO, and it took several months of severe bombardment and very disadvantageous terrain (it's impossible to hide heavy weaponry from air power in the desert) for NATO bombing campaign and NATO still needed special forces on th

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Not really, Article 54 goes way beyond what we have in the US. There's all sorts of things that I'm free to do in the US which would probably hurt the honor of America. And there's tons of things that corporate interests do which are detrimental to the interests and security of the homeland.

    • Oh, people are completely free to express themselves. As long as they express the right things.

    • I bet that China, unlike the USA, doesn't have special caged and protected 'Free Speech Zones' where protesters can stand, out of harms way, and exercise their right to free speech.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_speech_zone [wikipedia.org]

      • by x6060 (672364)
        Nope, instead of having "Free Speech Zones" they just simply execute you if you try to protest...
      • by sethstorm (512897)

        China's FSZ equivalent is in the form of a prison or extended house arrest. In the US, you aren't prevented from leaving the FSZ.

  • Don't be mistaken. It's the policy that is open, this says nothing about the Internet. The policy of censorship can openly the non-openness of the Internet.

  • US Says... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Derosian (943622) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @08:12PM (#37785656) Homepage Journal
    In other news the United States claims it is still the land of the free.
  • I'm sure this "freedom of expression" includes all Chinese citizens' right and ability to comment on Tiananmen Square. Oh wait, you'd actually need to *know* about Tiananmen Square to express how you feel about it. Seems to me freedom of expression is hollow and meaningless without a the ability to freely get at any information you want. But that's me, I guess.

  • "Responding to a U.S. request to explain China's policies regarding blocking U.S. websites, China's foreign ministry said the country's Internet policies have been open and clear. '

    It's open and clear that if you speak up against the Chinese government, a Party member, or a western multinational, you will be imprisoned. If you persist, you will die, the family will be billed for the execution(whether by bullet or execution truck), with possible harvesting of organs.


    The Chinese government encourages and act

    • The Chinese are notoriously obvious liars when it comes to their government statements. They also put tend to be uncompromising in issues between themselves and another nation that would yield easy and beneficial compromises to both nations. Then they make threats they will never live up to. I don't know if its a cultural thing, but I have noticed Chinese students also cheat their asses off in classes to get ahead rather than honestly go to the professor and ask for help. I've met some decent and honest Chi
      • "The Chinese are notoriously obvious liars when it comes to their government statements." It's not just the government, friend.

        It's not racist to point out that a culture has flaws. What I think a lot of Westerners don't understand about China is that it's not just like this government was created in a vacuum; the corruption, lying, cheating and general lack of ethical and moral scruples are facets of modern Chinese culture that also happen to manifest themselves in their government.
  • Can they be open about there high speed rail system?

    What about the full report on that high-speed train crash?

  • War is Peace,
    Freedom is Slavery!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @09:04PM (#37786146)

    Chinas' internet policies *are* open and clear! They are very open with their policies, and very clear with their policies!
    Eg: Its very clear that they will block any sites they deem detrimental to the communist party, the state, the army or anything else they deem inappropriate. They are quite open with this policy. They will tell anyone who asks, and will even inform people who didn't ask. Its their *internet* that isn't open or clear, but their *internet policies* are very open and clear. Call it semantics if you like, or even pedantic, but its true. I have every expectation that is exactly what they meant.

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @09:12PM (#37786226) Journal

    'The Chinese government encourages and actively supports the Internet's development and we also protect the freedom of expression of citizens in China,'

    Translation: 'The Chinese government encourages and actively supports the Internet's development as a State-controlled and censored network and we also protect the State-monitored and scripted freedom of expression of citizens in China,'

    'We welcome foreign companies to invest and develop here, and we will continue to foster an open policy market.'

    Translation: 'We welcome foreign companies to invest and develop here as long as they conform to State-mandated censorship policies and anything else we care to dictate to them, and we will continue to foster the illusion of an open policy market.'


    ..and before any of you decide to moderate me down as a "Troll": Yes, I strongly dislike the Chinese government, and would sooner trust the word of some strung-out meth-head with the DT's than anything they would say -- and furthermore I think you're a fool if you think otherwise.

    • by Frangible (881728)
      I've got no love for the Red Chinese government, but every government on the planet censors the internet to some degree. Child porn? BRB, FBI. Copyright infringement? I've seen numerous Google notices my search results have been restricted due to that.

      In a lot of European countries a copy of Wolfenstein 3-D would get you jail time! (they have to be intolerant, or some people might become intolerant, which cannot be tolerated)

      Sure, I can read about Fabul Gong or whatever that dissident group is China
  • by FyberOptic (813904) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:26PM (#37786830)

    This is part of the reason why the internet here in America needs to be officially declared as a utility, much like the telephone, so that companies and the government are unable to filter or censor it, or to give certain companies advantages over others in what travels across it.

    Seriously, the internet is in 75+% of homes by now. I bet when the telephone was considered a utility, it was still in far fewer homes than that. What's the difference?

  • by msobkow (48369) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @10:32PM (#37786876) Homepage Journal

    All the nations engage in censorship. It doesn't justify it, but what's the difference between:

    • China censoring dissent
    • US police forces attacking peaceful Occupy protestors expressing their constitutional right to be heard
    • The BBC tailoring their news content based on your access country
    • Global media suppression of the messages brought forth by the Occupy protestors, with claims that no one knows what they want
  • The policy has been very CLEAR that anything against the party are blocked.

  • The policy is "all Internet access is censored, not open and not clear". This policy is open and clear.
  • "In China, we don't have software blocking Internet sites. Sometimes we have trouble accessing them. But that's a different problem." -- Yang Xiaokun, Chinese diplomat, at the 2006 Internet Governance Forum in Athens

    They'll lie right to your face and expect you to believe it. They're probably so used to their own people cowering in fear of calling out government lies they actually think we will too.

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