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Google To Restart Talks With China

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the does-google-have-a-seat-on-the-un-yet dept.

Censorship 118

eldavojohn writes "Following the infamous attacks allegedly carried out by the Chinese government, Google sent a strongly worded message to China. However, despite the show of plumage, Google.cn continues to operate filtered. While both parties are silent about any resolution, Google and China have planned to restart talks and negotiations over Google operating unfiltered in China. (If you have a subscription, you can read about the story from its original source, the Wall Street Journal.) The print edition of the WSJ names Google policy executive Ross LaJeunesse as their representative meeting with Chinese officials. Meanwhile, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, has officially rejected the claim that the attacks were sanctioned by the Chinese government. He said, 'Google's statement from January 12 is groundless, and we are firmly opposed to it. China administers its internet according to law, and this position will not change. China prohibits hacking and will crack down on hacking according to law.'"

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118 comments

"Talks and Negotiations"? (4, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244258)

Is Google a country? Did I miss something?

And exactly what "laws" is Google breaking in China?

Why isn't this ever worth noting?

Re:"Talks and Negotiations"? (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244312)

Is Google a country? Did I miss something?

Technically no. It's a state [xkcd.com] now.

And exactly what "laws" is Google breaking in China?

The shorter list would be, what "laws" aren't they? This is China afterall, home of the government that sends the surviving family a bill for the cost of the bullet to kill their politically undesirables.

Why isn't this ever worth noting?

Thiiiiiis.... iiiiis..... SSSSSLLLAAASSSHHDDOOOT!!!

Re:"Talks and Negotiations"? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31245090)

Maybe the Chinese are talking about laws like the Patriot Act, which has secret provisions to make exceptions, so that hacking by the Chinese government is actually legal. Then, when faced with the forensic evidence regarding the sources of the attacks, they may need to admit the existence of such secret laws.

Re:"Talks and Negotiations"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31246146)

There's never going to be evidence. All we are going to see is McCarthy-style and Bush-style propaganda and unsubstantiated claims, the motive of which is to persuade us to boycott Chinese products.

Re:"Talks and Negotiations"? (2, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244352)

Is Google a country? Did I miss something?

Two entities discussing don't have to be of the same type. US can buy GM, MS can be sued by EU, etc...

The law Google was breaking was the law repressing some kind of political content on internet. Bad law, but law nonetheless

Re:"Talks and Negotiations"? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31249952)

Is Google a country? Did I miss something?

Two entities discussing don't have to be of the same type. US can buy GM, MS can be sued by EU, etc...

And that's the problem with weakly typed languages! You never know who's chopping whom's head off.

Pussies. (2, Insightful)

the_macman (874383) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244260)

You just couldn't do it.

Re:Pussies. (1)

_PimpDaddy7_ (415866) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244336)

No kidding

They're a business

Money talks, baby!

Re:Pussies. (2, Interesting)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244822)

They no doubt got a call from Washington D.C. going something like this: "WTF do you think you 'tards are doing? Don't you realize they have us by the balls? Do you have any idea how much of our debt they carry? The spare change from that could buy you clowns out twice! Have you no clue how much of the economy depends on being nice-nice with them? Now go back to kissing their backsides and spying on everyone on the nets."

And what of it? (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#31247476)

Don't you realize they have us by the balls? Do you have any idea how much of our debt they carry?

And exactly how does this give them any real power over us? More to the point, by wording it as you did, you suggest that there is some sort of individual that all the money is owed to that can make a collective decision on how to behave should we piss the government off.

do no evil huh... (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244266)

Google: Now the digital UN, sending strongly worded letters, and sending envoys worldwide to "investigate" cases of human rights abuses.

Re:do no evil huh... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244460)

Nice nick..are you a transvestite?

Re:do no evil huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244622)

Yes, I have a pretty pair of 34Bs and dress up in men's clothes when I go to work. Next question!

Show some backbone (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244286)

Show a little spine and turn the damn filters off.

Re:Show some backbone (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244302)

Show a little spine and turn the damn filters off.

That will likely lead to the deaths of google employees in China. I do think that continuing to operate with filters on is evil, but I also think that throwing your people to the dogs of China is also evil.

It would be nice if Google could find some third solution. I don't see it yet, but I'm not there.

Re:Show some backbone (5, Interesting)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244442)

It would be nice if Google could find some third solution. I don't see it yet, but I'm not there.

1. Set up servers to be run remotely -- probably already done.
2. Configure equipment to failover to other sites in the even of outage/bombing. Probably already done.
3. Get employees out of China for a "meeting" at Google HQ.
4. Turn off filtering.
5. ???????
6. Watch the mayhem ensue. And profit.

Re:Show some backbone (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245726)

Actually, I believe the solution will be like "Google.cn stops filtering, the Greate Firewall start filtering on that domain." So Google can claim they get something; the government does not give up anything; nothing changed for the user.

Re:Show some backbone (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244450)

1) set up cron job to turn off the filters
2) fly all the employees out of the country on 'business'
3) cron job turns off filters, government infiltrates compound to kill everyone in site, many mice die

Re:Show some backbone (3, Insightful)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244606)

That will likely lead to the deaths of google employees in China.

Puh-lease. No one is going to do that, because it would be piss off Wall Street, and the CCP only cares about one thing: money.

Re:Show some backbone (3, Interesting)

allcar (1111567) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244436)

Is it just Google that you want to stand up to the Chinese, or should the rest of the businesses in the world follow suit? Indeed, should our governments "show a little spine"? Get into the real world.

Re:Show some backbone (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244468)

Yes, our governments should stand up to China. They've been too accommodating for too long.

Re:Show some backbone (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31246092)

Indeed, should our governments "show a little spine"? Get into the real world.

They won't just like the Chinese government couldn't do anything when the US bombed their embassy in Kosov and blamined on "bad maps". Why? Here are some reasons:

  • No spy agency is going to reveal what they have done.
  • Everyone of them is doing the same to others; and they will continue to do so -- online or traditional
  • There are many other people, from the bored ones to the professionals, do the same hackings. The more noises out there, the better for the governments.
  • If they have any real evidence against others, they wouldn't reveal it, because it then revealed their own spying sources
  • governments are politically smart unlike average Joe's such as yourself; they understand the consequence of pushing too hard.

Re:Show some backbone (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31247416)

Stay silent. By letting people know that US bombed a Chinese embassy, you're dealing against forces that are more powerful than you'll ever understand. Unless you want to get FBI to spy on you, stay silent.

Oh, No!! Not a Strongly Worded Message!! (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244520)

If that doesn't work, I suggest that Google just taunt them further. Worst case scenario, Eric Schmidt can wave his private parts at them. That seemed to work for this l'il troublemaker [newser.com] .

Re:Oh, No!! Not a Strongly Worded Message!! (2, Funny)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244658)

I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough water! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

Now go away before I taunt you a second time.

As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244392)

business before human rights.

Yours In Minsk,
K. Trout

Semantics for fun and profit (2, Insightful)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244410)

I don't doubt for a minute that China will, "...crack down on hacking according to law." Hacking that isn't according to law, however, will continue as usual.

Re:Semantics for fun and profit (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31247472)

The fact that your post has been modded as insightful instead of funny, should tell you something.

why should China bother? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244452)

China doesn't need google. Why should they bother? They have Baidu and it's in their best interest for this market in China to be owned by a Chinese company.

I'm just not seeing how Google has any kind of negotiating position here.

Re:why should China bother? (5, Informative)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244640)

The Chinese people need Google. Here's why:
1. Go to Baidu.com [baidu.com]
2. Search for "falun gong"
3. Enjoy your temporary IP ban.

The internet is a great danger to any dictatorship. It allows people who are secluded to see what the outside world is really like instead of the portrait that their overlords paint for them.

Re:why should China bother? (0, Troll)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244966)

You're doing it wrong. Search for Falun Gong in Chinese, Baidu functions completely normally, returning all the relevant results. Google.com(English, using Chinese search terms) and Baidu naturally return different results; but the Chinese results are much better! They provide much more useful information regarding the evil cult that is Falun Gong! Sort of like how searching Google for Scientology provides nasty, biased, Scientology-backed and funded apologist propaganda, but China helpfully censors that nasty pro-cult crap, leaving you with the truth!

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31246246)

A refreshing change from the cesspool of FUD and propaganda.

Re:why should China bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31246882)

Verily, our loving Communist overlords, who know what is best for us and protects us like loving parents, will free the whole world from this oppressive information that is, oftentimes, so filled with dark untruths, as you so justly mention.

Re:why should China bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31247628)

Dear Blood infested dumpling,

I hope you are being sarcastic.

Yours Sincerely,
SiRenMaoZedongzhenGaiSi

Re:why should China bother? (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245366)

Since when does the chinese government care about what the chinese people need?

Re:why should China bother? (0, Redundant)

aDSF762 (865834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31246152)

Isn't "falun gong" like the Scientology of China not that they should be censored but just saying.

Re:why should China bother? (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31247572)

The internet is also a great danger to the world. It allows the propaganda-partners of big corporations (especially oil companies and arms companies) to convince people about the existence of WMDs, etc.

Re:why should China bother? (1)

justinjstark (1645867) | more than 4 years ago | (#31249310)

You mean like how the US government censors war reporters. Or how the US government doesn't allow the caskets of soldiers to be photographed?

It's not just dictatorships that cover their citizens eyes. In some aspects, you can say that the US government is worse because we are governed "by the people" but the people aren't allowed the vital information needed to make important governmental decisions. At least, in a dictatorship, you expect this kind of thing.

-1 offtopic, -1 flamebait

Re:why should China bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31250516)

The reporters I saw in Iraq could report anything they felt like reporting. PAO didn't have to approve anything. No political minder. Seemed pretty open to me. The reports were pretty critical of everything we did, no one tried to censor anything.

This [wikipedia.org] is about as bad as US Censorship gets.

Re:why should China bother? (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 4 years ago | (#31251822)

Most people aren't looking for falun gong. Instead, they're probably looking for Jay Chow.

Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (4, Insightful)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244470)

Okay, let's face it, China is THE rising power this century. Thanks to the mistakes of a previous administration, the U.S. will be surpassed sometime in the 2020s (not the 2050s as was previously predicted). If you're Republican you can pick Clinton, if you're Democrat you can pick Bush. (On the other hand, if you believe in reality, I think the choice is obvious).

But I digress. Despite all the bad things that the U.S. has said and done and been blamed for, I think it is obvious that it is still a much more benevolent world power than China has shown itself to be. Consider Tibet, North Korea, Ulighars, Global Warming, dissidents, Iran, Africa etc. etc. Let's face it, China only cares about itself and only about keeping the ruling party in power (and rich). They may not be actively supporting "evil" in the world but they sure don't go out of their way to fight against it.

Frankly, there's not too much that'll stop this from happening. But it's better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. So, please, ask yourself when you have a choice, do you want to support China? If there is another product that's just a little more expensive from another country, please consider buying it. If you can get a return on investment that's just a little less than investing in China consider changing your investments (I did a couple of years ago).

You'll sleep better because of it.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (4, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244574)

I don't claim to be an expert but I don't see China growing to surpass the rest of the world. China got to the point it is today by doing stuff cheaply, as far as I can tell they are more dependent on us than we are on them. Our dealings with China are only for cost savings and their dealing with us is their life blood.

Don't travel much do you? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244982)

Try going to Shanghai where they are expected to double the 4000 skyscrapers they already have there in the next 15 years. (Manhattan only has 2000).

Or go to Guangzhou where a sleepy fishing village 20 years ago is now a mega city with buildings stretching to the horizon.

Consider that China is building 42 high speed rail lines (in addition to the world's only maglev). How many does the U.S. have? Zero.

Or think to the future, already the world's largest solar panel manufacturer, China will soon overtake the U.S. in wind power. (It blows the world away in new nuclear power plants).

If one includes the Chinese studying overseas, one could make a credible case that it already has caught up to the U.S. in cutting edge technology.

How someone who readily admits not being an expert could get a +5 insightful shows how ethno-centric Slashdot is. China was called "the sleeping giant" by Napolean. Now while it has awoken, it is another country that has fallen asleep.

Re:Don't travel much do you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31245146)

It's really gonna be cool when Guangzhou, Hong Kong & Macau are all connected by bridges.

Re:Don't travel much do you? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31248362)

Unfortunately, bricks and mortar do not equal success. Not necessarily, anyhow.

In the early 90's it was 'the era of Japan' and they were the up and coming power.

Without an ethical business infrastructure, China can't maintain a lead. And they're already facing the fact that the milk is poisoned again, only a short year or two past the last time they poisoned all those babies.

No, I see Civil War in China's future. Really messy Civil War.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244984)

Exactly. Until they learn to grow their own food, they're dependants.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (3, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244992)

Don't forget that in another 10-15 years 10% of their population won't be able to find a spouse. For what it's worth, I doubt that kind of societal pressure can be dealt with safely without great loss of life. I might be wrong, but if I certainly wouldn't want to be the one responsible for the country when 100,000,000+ young men are desperate, lonely, and sexually repressed.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245722)

Actually, that's something we should be worried about just as much as them. What if the government decides to turn that anger into martial spirit and channel it into war?

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 4 years ago | (#31248430)

Modern war isn't fought successfully by throwing raw manpower at an opponent. This was proven in the Iraq/Iran war, and that wasn't even a very big one.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

losfromla (1294594) | more than 4 years ago | (#31250484)

they don't need to be repressed, half of them can follow girlintraining's lead and just hit for the other team. Problem solved.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31252694)

That probably means a lot of Chinese men will emigrate.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244996)

China surpassed the rest of the world a long time ago. Just because their people are impoverished doesn't make them weak. They have an excellent propaganda machine, and their people have enough prosperity that they can plausibly present to their people a world where China reigns supreme.

And let's be honest, it does.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31247866)

They have an excellent propaganda machine

I don't think it's any more powerful than the American propaganda machine. Also, the American one has more global reach. A few years ago it could successfully convince most people in the world that a teeny tiny poor country had WMDs.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (2, Interesting)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245164)

The USA sold a lot of stuff cheaply to Europe in the 19th century (such as wheat). It was in a similar position at that time to China and India's position now. It did pretty well financially in the 20th century.

As for China's "dependency" on the US:
China's exports are 39.7% of their GDP. Of that 17.7% is to the US. [wikipedia.org] That means 7% of their money comes from exports to the US.

Can you take a 7% hit in salary and still survive? Would you want to? That's the position China's in now. But calling the USA their "life blood" is a bit of a dramatic opinion.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (2, Insightful)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31246998)

Your analogy is flawed.

First, the US still sells wheat cheaply to the rest of the world, this hasn't changed.

Second, the US wasn't an industrial power until after the Civil war and really didn't take off until after WWI.

Third, the US had (still has) much greater access to raw materials within its borders. The Chinese environment is quickly degrading into a nightmare, and the US has more forests today than any time since Lewis and Clarke. Not to mention huge reserves of almost every other natural resources either within the US or within Canada.

Fourth, the US had a representative government (barring minorities and women in some places) that allowed for grievances to be aired and addressed. China does not. China will implode under the weight of its totalitarian regime.

Also, your numbers are flawed. I know Wikipedia is a great source of facts, but I would rather defer to this report prepared for Congress:

http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL31403.pdf [google.com]

According to that report in 2005 China exported $200 billion more products to the US than they imported. By any measure $200 billion is a significant fraction of the Chinese GDP and at least 5%. That $200 billion is %1.4 of the US's GDP. Moreover, while the US can easily find new sources for imported goods, there is no equivalent market for Chinese goods.

Besides imports, the US is the one of the biggest sources of FDI. Meaning, all those factories operating in China depend on US money to operate.

Demographically the Chinese are double screwed. 4 times the population of the US is confined to the area the size of the continental US. As another poster mentioned, the Chinese are cursed with way more men than women and single sexually frustrated men generally do not lead to a stable society.

Long story short, China will not overtake the US economically in 2020, or 2050, or ever.

Now, if they adopted a representative government, abandoned the one-child policy, and invaded Siberia, then there would be something to compare.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245960)

It is a two way street. USA might depend on China for cheap crap, however what happens to China if the USA ever stopped buying or being able to afford their cheap crap anymore. What other market could China possibly use? The answer is practically none. Much of China lives in rural poverty, and their growth is unsustainable without US support.

So while one might predict upon current trends that China will become the new economic superpower, one has to realize that this does not happen in a vacuum. So if the US is to decline, and China is to grow, look for a RAPID loss of growth in China's economy once a certain threshold has been hit. If you think that the USA and the rest of the world was hit hard by the finical crisis just wait till China's 30% growth or whatever drops to sub 5% and what happens to their economy as a result, particularly because it is state controlled and the currency is strictly controlled to keep it low so that other countries can afford to buy there cheap crap. Add to that mix that they are likely one of the largest importers of both FOOD and ENERGY, and require capitol to ensure that. Now increase their population by the usual curve between now and then. Add the largest standing army just for paranoia.

Interesting times.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31247486)

Actually this has already happened (to an extent). During the recent "great recession" exports from China have plummeted. Not just to the U.S. but to all of their major "developed" country trading partners. So what happened? Did the Chinese economy crash and burn?

Just the opposite. Due to a massive stimulus program (that they, unlike us, paid for out of their huge foreign reserves) they basically just blew by the recession. China's economy has become developed to the point that THEY ARE THEIR OWN LARGEST CUSTOMER. So basically, they are fueling their own growth by rising standards of living. Their growth is so high (8+%) that their central bank is raising interest rates to keep inflation from soaring.

Sure, they have long term problems in food and energy. This is due to prosperity not poverty. They are importing (lots) of food to feed their increasingly sophisticated palates (they are still 95% self-sufficient in grains) and likewise with energy they are importing (oil) to fuel all their new cars (they just passed the U.S. as the largest automobile market in the world). Like us they are dependent on the middle east for energy, unlike us they are committing massive resources to break that dependence. Starting from virtually nothing I believe they are now the worlds largest manufacturer of solar panels and will soon pass us in wind. (They also build a huge number of nuclear plants EACH YEAR).

No doubt China's got problems and challenges ahead. But the writing's on the wall, the "sleeping giant" has awoken and since we blew our lead through sheer incompetence, we have no-one else to blame. (It's not just me who thinks this, despite a substantial drop in foreign language programs the number of American children now learning Mandarin has soared in the last few years - no matter what their parents might say in public, they can see what's coming and are voting with their kids future.)

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244764)

Considering the path that the US has taken lately, I don't see that much of a difference between the US and China. To me, the biggest difference is that I don't understand Chinese. The US tortures, overthrows other countries' governments, has capital punishment, is the number one polluter in sum and per capita, has the most expensive and biggest military and has a failing political system with two almost indistinguishable parties which mostly serve corporate interests. If you are in the US, you want the US to come out ahead. That's only natural. To anyone outside, it is not nearly as clear-cut. Get your act together, maybe the world can get behind you again.

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31245242)

Unfortunately replace China with US in your statements and replace Iraq for Iran, Afganistan for Tibet, no need to replace anything for global warming, and Africa and I think both countries have very similar human rights problems.

I'm sure you believe what you say, it just means the spin doctors are doing their jobs in both countries

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

plasticsquirrel (637166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245406)

Despite all the flack that China gets in the western world constantly, it is quite a peaceful country (internationally) compared to the U.S. How many wars, "conflicts", or secret wars has the U.S. been involved with in the last 50 years? Yet we always seem to take ourselves to be a constant benevolent force working to liberate these conveniently oil-rich countries from their own governments. Say what you will about China, but on the international scene, but it's something of a sleeping dragon. The rule for China is "don't rock the boat", and that could be a welcome break from all the war and conflict. I don't think the U.S. was ever really ready to have superpower status, and maybe when it has to start playing nicely with everyone else, it will be a relief for everyone.

Do people seriously still believe that the U.S. is genuinely concerned with fighting evil in the world? That the conflicts between it and the Middle East are not due to culture, religion, and oil? Or that North Korea isn't just about nuclear dominance and Cold War, part 2? I hope that the younger generation on Slashdot is not so naive, and that it has been able to learn from recent history. Lord knows the U.S. could use a little wisdom and insight, which the older generations seem to sadly lack. :-(

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31246830)

You have many good points that I won't try to refute because I agree with (many of) them. I am all too aware of the many unnecessary (and worse!) conflicts the U.S. has gotten into because of purely nationalistic (or worse!) goals. However, I'd like to believe that at least sometimes the U.S. has worked on more than pure short-term self-interest (even if that was just long-term self-interest). But like I said, I agree on many of your examples.

As an American though, I CAN (TRY) TO CHANGE the situation, through voting, supporting various political parties, and general activism. All of these things I've done (continue to do). However, not only are these tools unavailable to me as a means of influencing China, they are unavailable TO THE AVERAGE CHINESE. I'm afraid of a future where the world is dominated by an unelected party who have not hesitated to use lethal tools of repression despite widespread international condemnation. If they're willing to do this on their OWN PEOPLE how much do you think they'll care about others?

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31248826)

You are right about everything except one. The older generations do know things, actually they know better. Look at Noam Chomsky, the Nobel-winning mathematician.

http://www.chomsky.info/

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Chomsky/Noam_Chomsky.html

No matter how rationally and how objectively he put forth his arguments, the mainstream media successfully portrayed him as a conspiracy theorist.

Heck, the mainstream media even marooned (figuratively) Albert Einstein because his political views were socialist. He was also one of the first to understand media's role in imperialism. But when the latter's success in science grew beyond certain level, media just couldn't contain him anymore. So they came up with the "a genius working in dungeons of science without any time to think about politics" image for him, thus shaking off any need to publicize his political views.

Then there was Howard Zinn, who passed away recently.

These days, the media reich has coined the term "alternative history" to refer to the publications of Zinn, Chomsky and such. It has successfully brought the intended negative connotation to these people's work.

Insightful!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31246918)

Despite all the bad things that the U.S. has said and done and been blamed for ...

Whoa, whoa! Hold on. Could you please give an example of a bad thing that the U.S. has not done but has been blamed for?

I think it is obvious that it is still a much more benevolent world power than China has shown itself to be.

Well, let's see. It isn't obvious for me.

Consider Tibet

Consider Iraq and Afghanistan.

Consider North Korea

Consider Israel.

Consider Ulighars

What are they? Latest fiction from the propagandists?

Consider Global Warming

The last time I checked [wikipedia.org] , an average American emitted 18.99 tonnes of CO2 per year whereas an average Chinese emitted 4.62 tonnes per year. You never knew it, right? For this, I won't blame you. I'll blame your media.

Consider dissidents

Oh, you mean incidents like these?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vikram_Buddhi

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/sep2002/eins-s03.shtml

China bubble / spindly-legged kid ready to fall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31247090)

Not sure. My company has recently moved all its tech manufacturing out of China due to quality control issues, general intellectual property lawlessness, and shipping costs/time. With automation a lot of manufacturing can now be done locally in the US, and in any case for US companies it often makes more sense to manufacture in Mexico due to NAFTA and improving infrastructure there. Half our company already speaks Spanish.

There are a lot of other newer and better alternatives in Asia, as well, like Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia. Thailand, in particular, looks very promising. Costs relative to China are at parity or better, the weather is nicer (if you can avoid Tsunamis), and the people are famous for their hospitality and generosity.

I think manufacturing / export has driven a bubble in China, which is now like a big strong kid whose upper body (growing economic infrastructure, global presence) has grown too fast for his little spindly legs (diversity of economic base). One good pop to the chin like a more drastic shift in manufacturing elsewhere

Re:Ask yourself, do you want to support China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31249498)

Meh. Even if you DO blindly project China's peak growth rate onward forever, and blindly project the US's current recession onward forever, China wouldn't catch up to the US in a mere ten years.

If you retry and tentatively project China's growth forward, with an understanding of what forces are behind its current growth, you'll see that China's growth is going to start leveling off soon. China's growth is still based entirely on copying and being cheap, and it doesn't have the necessary transition levels in place to go from "follower" to "leader". That means that as its economy catches up to the rest of the world, its cheapness advantage evaporates, as does the pool of tech that is older and easy to copy.

Note the in historical "x-is-going-to-demolish-us" parallel with Japan, Japan caught up in many aspects in the 70s, and the Japan-will-own-us thing peaked more in the late 80s and early 90s? The current China-will-own-us scenario has no equivalent basis in reality. As long as China is following its current track, it won't be able to get more than, say, 60-75% caught up, because every time it approaches that threshold it'll have lost enough of its cheap labor advantage for business to go elsewhere. The only route out of this would be to transition from cheapness to quality (and then from quality to leading edge tech), but the quality stage has been endlessly delayed because it would raise prices and cancel out the cheapness advantage.

Another thing China would have to do (but isn't doing) is to increase its own local markets. China's current increase in wealth is nowhere near evenly distributed. It's going to the old elite, who're buying luxury stuff from elsewhere (since China doesn't produce that stuff locally yet). There's a relatively small middle class riding just under the elite, and the bulk of the country (80%ish? Hard to find exact numbers really) are effectively still peasants, whether of the farming sort or the industrial sort. Factory works only make a high salary in comparison to the breakeven salary of farmers; it's enough to bolster their family financial woes but not enough to pull ahead. Or to reword this differently, their economy looks more like the US's 1900-1920s, maybe earlier since they don't really have the same labor protections yet. They'll need to do a lot more than 10 years worth of catching up. Currently the citizens of China mostly can't afford to buy the exports of China, which means they're not getting the economic positive feedback loop that the older industrialized countries got.

Fists. (4, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244478)

Google has started wielding their fists in China. They've been trying to operate unfiltered, they shut the filters off briefly in this debacle, they've started drawing bad publicity on China and threatening to just walk away. Their behavior has forced some other Chinese-operated search engines to back off on censorship, and forced the Chinese government to ease up a little. They seem to be tired of waiting calmly for negotiations to turn favorable, so they've taken to slugging the other guy in the face when he doesn't give ground fast enough.

Re:Fists. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245648)

The only reason that Google got so pissy over this attack was because apparently the hacker stole [wired.com] some of their proprietary source code during the hack. Until this threat to their actual IP, they didn't give a rat's ass how many people they turned over for imprisonment in China or how much they filtered out words like "democracy" from their search results. This isn't about Google standing up to evil totalitarion China--it's about Google saying "Look, we'll turn over dissidents and censor our search results all you want, BUT YOU THREATEN OUR PROFITS AND WE WILL FUCK YOU UP!"

It's all about money for Google, and this is all just posturing.

China doesn't know what the rule of law is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244500)

Go to china and find this out for yourself. The streets are like anarchy. The society as a whole rules itself regardless of the communist party or not using a social system of governance. Everyone there mostly understands what is acceptable, what is not.

The laws the govt makes are not followed by the govt. You cannot have rule of law until the govt is accountable to its own legislation!

Re:China doesn't know what the rule of law is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244956)

The laws the govt makes are not followed by the govt. You cannot have rule of law until the govt is accountable to its own legislation!

That's a nice theory, but I'd wager that every successful government has engaged in activities forbidden to the common citizen by law. It's also historically common for people in government to receive light sentences, even pardons for crimes that would usually preclude such leniency. There doesn't seem to be much evidence in favor of your statement outside of an imaginary utopia.

Re:China doesn't know what the rule of law is (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31250068)

The laws the govt makes are not followed by the govt. You cannot have rule of law until the govt is accountable to its own legislation!

That's a nice theory, but I'd wager that every successful government has engaged in activities forbidden to the common citizen by law. It's also historically common for people in government to receive light sentences, even pardons for crimes that would usually preclude such leniency. There doesn't seem to be much evidence in favor of your statement outside of an imaginary utopia.

You haven't disproven his statement, you've only made the point that "every successful government" has not had the rule of law.

Whether that's true or not is unaddressed by his statement and your response.

How this plays out (3, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244584)

Let's face it -- Google's not pulling out of China because the market is too big and China's not going to back down on filtering. The way I see this playing out is a deal where Google is allowed to operate unfiltered on their end, however the Chinese government places in-line content filters down stream from Google, between their network and the rest of country. This way the content still gets blocked, but Google can say "its not our fault."

Free Access to WSJ Article (1)

kipin (981566) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244592)

If you want to read the article, and don't have a Wall Street Journal membership, you can simply enter the article name in Google, and Wall Street Journal will let you use Google as a referrer to read the article through the paywall.

Here's the link [google.com] to the Google search for you.

Re:Free Access to WSJ Article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31250274)

hmm, interesting. I tried the same on Yahoo and it didn't work. So it's not really one click away for the user to switch.

Dear Interwebs (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244634)

Can we please stop regarding Google's saccharine "Don't Be Evil" claptrap for anymore than what it always was: branding.

Thanks.

Re:Dear Interwebs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244972)

GET OUT OF MY TUBES

Re:Dear Interwebs (1)

Atanamis (236193) | more than 4 years ago | (#31246342)

Can we please stop regarding Google's saccharine "Don't Be Evil" claptrap for anymore than what it always was: branding.

The only reason branding exists is to make an implied promise to the consumer. McDonald's brand promises fast burgers following a similar recipe in a fairly consistent eating environment. Google's brand is supposed to represent easy to use, highly effective, and non-evil. If they at least appear to practice this brand, they sell more stuff. If they don't, they lose the brand value. Regardless of WHY they want to appear non-evil, the results are what should be judged by the market.

Threatening without having the balls to do it (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244648)

China called Google's bluff and destroyed Google's credibility. Next time think it through first, Google. Right now you look like any other multinational corporation that would sell their founders' grandmothers to make more profit.

Re:Threatening without having the balls to do it (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244734)

When were they (Google) anything different? China didnt destroy Google's credibility. Google did. First when they actually thought they would get treated better then the average 9 to 5 worker. Then by making claims they couldn't back up with evidence. And now by continuing talks...

Re:Threatening without having the balls to do it (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31248042)

Google already destroyed its own credibility by the announcement. A simple youtube search would reveal the hilarious infomercial on of the "school with ties to the Chinese military": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xx6Y6XOM58 [youtube.com]

For crying out loud Google, you own youtube; at least try to use it before you make an ass out of yourself on the world stage. If Lanxiang vocational school really had "ties to the Chinese military" they wouldn't be interrupting my soap-operas every hour with cheesy infomercials that promise 30 days money back guarantees on a month long course.

Google Search Language Preferences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244652)

Anyone else notice the change to Search Language Preferences after the Google/China incident? It may just be a coincidence but the "Search for pages written in any language (Recommended)" option is no longer the default or an available option. The only option now is "Prefer pages written in these language(s)" with one of the languages sometimes selected and unselectable by default depending on your "Interface Language" setting or which localized version of Google you visit.

Re:Google Search Language Preferences (2, Informative)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245070)

I have noticed no changes. Searching in Chinese version still provides "All pages" "All Chinese pages" "All Simplified Chinese pages" as options, with "All pages" as default, regardless of language query.

The English version of Google helpfully suggests "Search English pages only" when entering a Chinese search term, with no "Written in any language" options available on the top of the search page (still available in options). When entering German search terms, same results as English search terms. Same for Russian and other non-Roman alphabets.

I would say it's bias, in that Americans generally only speak English, and don't ask for targeted language results, whereas users of localized version might have an interest in language options.

Re:Google Search Language Preferences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31246814)

Check the "Search settings [google.com] " page to see the change. Change the "?hl=en" to a different language to see how it changes the default selected language. For example "?hl=de" has deutsch selected by default. You will see the old "Search for pages written in any language" is now missing. Compare the current options with this screenshot [imageshack.us] (sorry for quality, not my picture) of how it used to look.

Hacking? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244722)

No, no. As a government-sanctioned action it would neither be considered 'hacking' nor against the law.

Only in China, and maybe Russia too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244732)

China prohibits hacking and will crack down on hacking according to law

When the law is doing the hacking, how much cracking down is really going to happen here? I'd say all of about none.

Oblig: You don't hack China, China hacks you!

According to Law??? (2, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244844)

China administers its internet according to law, and this position will not change.

Like there's anybody out there reading /. or the WSJ for that matter that is fluent in Chinese Law. This is their perfect 'get out of jail free card.' They can play the PR game all day long and hide behind whatever laws are defined. Any government would do the same thing, this isn't exclusive to the Chinese.

Re:According to Law??? (1)

vampire_baozi (1270720) | more than 4 years ago | (#31249844)

I'm not fluent in Chinese law (yet, though I plan to be someday), but there are large numbers of Western lawyers who are. And I'm sure Google and the US government employ many of these.

Okay... what is the law? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31244850)

China administers its internet according to law, and this position will not change. China prohibits hacking and will crack down on hacking according to law.'"

Am I just getting cynical in my own age, or is it entirely possible that this is just doublespeak and state-sanctioned attacks are permitted under chinese law.

Re:Okay... what is the law? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245534)

China can say they are following the law and be telling the truth, provided that they have secret laws.

the law is flexible in China (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 4 years ago | (#31246236)

I'm sure there are laws against this. I'm also quite certain that a wise local can get around them. This is one of the biggest problems in China. They can tighten the law all they want and it doesn't stop things because the enforcement is corrupt.

It also creates a huge inequity against foreign companies (like Google) because the same people who take the bribes either are already bribed by the locals or are afraid if they accept bribes from foreigners, the foreigners will be more likely to rat them out for taking bribes (an offense which carries the death penalty) later.

And this is all before you get into the question as to whether the government is breaking the law, which is quite possible, it happens in a lot of countries.

Re:Okay... what is the law? (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31247238)

... state-sanctioned attacks ...

So far, there's no proof. All we have are presuppositions and rhetorical claims. Hey, I'm not saying Chinese people didn't do it. But still people are so prejudiced that I'll get modded into oblivion.

biznatCh (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31244986)

As to which *BSD Slashdot's then disappeared copy a 17 Meg file suffering *BSD as it is licensed from the openBSD in jocks or chaps

In Soviet China: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31245994)

Talks restart YOU !

Google the Good Guy (1)

DVD9 (1751726) | more than 4 years ago | (#31246604)

Have you ever Googled "google, NSA" (without the quotes)? It is not a pretty sight. I would be shocked at this point to discover that Google was not working hand-in-glove with the CIA, Pentagon and FBI. Same with Microsoft. Surely the CIA, Pentagon and FBI can enter a Windows computer (and OSX) at will through a supplied back door. The only people capable of discovering something like this would also wish to exploit their knowledge, so would never reveal it. Google and Microsoft claim it is against the law to reveal their relationships and activities with the Federal government. That tells you all you need to know.

Re:Google the Good Guy (1)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31249102)

You just suspect it. I'm pretty sure the latest accusation by Google is just a drama that is part of the Google-Feds relationship.

Re:Google the Good Guy (1)

DVD9 (1751726) | more than 4 years ago | (#31252494)

That is certainly possible. There is a strong synergy between the "main stream" media, Federal intelligence, military and police agencies, and Fortune 500 corporations. Also the big elite Universities, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford etc. That is the government.

Most of us wouldn't stay where we aren't wanted. (1)

PDX (412820) | more than 4 years ago | (#31247516)

Why bother to negotiate if there has been no change in the mindset that created the problem in the first place. Just walk away Google. Don't be evil.

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