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Chinese Internet Firms Punished For Permitting Spread Of Political Rumors

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the everyone's-best-interest-at-heart dept.

China 75

First time accepted submitter rover42 writes "Major Chinese sites Sina and Webo 'have been legally punished for permitting the spread of unfounded rumors. Specifically, the report cites unfounded rumors that were spreading like wildfire on Sina Weibo of an attempted coup d'etat happening in Beijing.' The source is the state-run Xinhua." Sadly for the people of China (even if they like it this way), this seems to be in line with the Chinese government's general attitude toward the Internet.

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A Little Birdie Told Me... (2, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532723)

So now not only do they have to police for content, they have to police for truth?? Yikes.

Re:A Little Birdie Told Me... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533117)

The rumors are false? true? that shouldn't be part of the discussion. Anybody can start a false rumor, even in good faith, and then somebody uses it as justification for censorship, removal of rights, wars, whatever. If you allow that, you might as well forget about constitutions and laws.

Why would governments suddenly care about truthful reporting in the net when other media are biased all the time? Truth says all men are equal no? then compare the coverage of 911 to the one of bhopal to the one of iraq civilian deaths. Just to make an example that is not anti "people's republic" China.

Re:A Little Birdie Told Me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533469)

True, but ... You won't exactly be convincing repressive regimes with arguments like that.

Truth says all men are equal no?

Which truth is that ? Perhaps in reference to your next statement :

compare the coverage of 911 to the one of bhopal to the one of iraq civilian deaths. Just to make an example that is not anti "people's republic" China.

Ok, here's one "truth" known as Christianity. It does say all men and women are equal (in the eyes of god, irrespective even of religion), but one can definitely say the practical application of that was somewhat lacking
As for Atheism as "truth", the kind in use in the US says all men are equal (strangely, also follows that by "under God"), the kind in the ex-Soviet union most definitely does not say that.
The "truth" generally used in Iraq, islam, denies that men are equal. It is quite unique in that allah literally states that people are not equal, that there are slaves and free men (no free women, coincidence ? All other classes do have women), that free men are superior above any woman, that there are infidels and believers, that there are 'people of the book (the bible)' and pagans, and a later addition in sharia that is universally accepted is that there are dhimmi and enemies. Islam denies the majority of these classes even the right to life, never mind freedom or equality. In most religions it's left "in the middle", the god(s) don't say people are equal, nor do they claim otherwise. Most religions are universalist, and don't explicitly state that they are superior to other religions either. Applicable law in Iraq also denies that all men are equal, with a direct reference to islamic religion.

Why whine about equality of people who mostly voluntarily impose a system, on themselves and others, that is explicitly racist, sexist, and discriminatory in the rights and duties people have ? Clearly any muslim either denies both the quran and Iraqi law, and thus is neither muslim, and even a national traitor on top of that, or they don't and they're enemies of racial/sex/political equality. The same applies to muslims in America, really.

Re:A Little Birdie Told Me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39534395)

How did we get from Chinese censorship to spurious claims about a religion so quickly? Also how do you reconcile the notions of all men being equal in US law and that of American Exceptionalism which tacitly states that all people not of that nation are of less worth? Do you agree with every law in your nation? Does a drug user automatically become a national traitor therefore? Does a person who doesn't vehemently voice dissent against the death penalty automatically become an accessory to murder? If you answer no to those previous two questions then why do you apply stricter rules to people from nations other than your own? Answer that honestly and you may well learn something, not only about yourself, but about people of other nations too.

Re:A Little Birdie Told Me... (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533607)

And of course what is true or false is decided by the government.

What is "Webo"? (1)

rush,overlord,rush! (1995452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532741)

And Weibo is a part of Sina. Do you mean Tencent?

Re:What is "Webo"? (3, Interesting)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532815)

Good luck monitoring all traffic on Tencent's networks.

As of almost three years ago, they showed upwards of 990 million registered users, with a peak concurrency of 6.13 million [tencent.com] . Somehow I think that number will have risen since, not fallen.

Re:What is "Webo"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39535973)

Good luck?

How many bytes of 'twitter data' can 6 million users generate per second (taking into account that typing a message takes a bit of time)? Does the technology exist to search/filter such amounts of data in real time for keywords? Is the answer to that last question really "no"?

Re:What is "Webo"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532883)

No, weibo is the sina's chinese version of twitter. Tencent has something similar. Both were punished and forced to disable feature that allows users to comment under tweets.

Blame the messenger (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532783)

- Someone phoned me and said there's a revolution!
- Quick! Punish the phone company!

Re:Blame the messenger (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532923)

- Someone phoned me and said there's a revolution!
- Quick! Punish the phone company!

That would be like closing MegaUpload because their users shared illegal content.

Re:Blame the messenger (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533023)

Different country, different concepts of acceptable censorship.

And I guess we both get to laugh at each other's expense.

Re:Blame the messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533087)

Different country, different concepts of acceptable censorship.

Um, no. This is NOT a "shades of grey" or "just a bit different" scenario.

It's binary: "Censorship is acceptable" or "Censorship is not acceptable".

To speak of an "acceptable level" of censorship is meaningless, and plays right into the hands of those who want to control what I get to see and hear.

Re:Blame the messenger (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533579)

So you do want me spreading blatant lies about your actions with goats, use of drugs, racial bias and incompetence at your chosen profession?

I could do so on about 50 different related social networks and use 50 aliases to promote them.

No censorship is acceptable?

Re:Blame the messenger (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39534267)

Thank you for that mental image.

Re:Blame the messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39535317)

Different country, different concepts of acceptable censorship.

Um, no. This is NOT a "shades of grey" or "just a bit different" scenario.

It's binary: "Censorship is acceptable" or "Censorship is not acceptable".

To speak of an "acceptable level" of censorship is meaningless, and plays right into the hands of those who want to control what I get to see and hear.

Understanding culture is paramount in this situation. Where woman in the US often wear white for their wedding, Chinese wear red. It is actually offensive to give a Chinese bride something white as a wedding gift, because white is symbolic to death. Along the same lines is what you learn when eating rice with chopsticks: always use the chopstick rest when not using the chopsticks. NEVER leave the chopsticks in the rice with one end of the chopsticks sticking up because it resembles an incense offering to the dead.

shades of grey is exactly what the situation is.

Re:Blame the messenger (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39534517)

no, it would be like closing twitter because too many people were talking about Obama's hot mic incident
unless you equate sharing copyrighted content with open access to news and interpersonal communication, there is no similarity

Demanding truth (0)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532785)

So they demand that people have correct informations, not just lies? This can not stand! We demand to have lies in our news!

Re:Demanding truth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532853)

Truths that the government disagrees with have the tendency to get labeled as lies by the government, regardless of the actual state of things.

Re:Demanding truth (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532867)

>>So they demand that people have correct informations, not just lies? This can not stand! We demand to have lies in our news!

For shame... you mean CNN, MSNBC et al. aren't lying enough to you?

well, what you could do... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532819)

...is minimise the purchases you make of products built in China. Buy local where you can, and buy from a country with the best reputation for respecting human rights otherwise. In particular, avoid trend-setting brands, as their response will be followed by others.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't free the slaves by paying the slave-owner.

Human Rights (2)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39534775)

The top 10 countries with the best HR records are

Norway
San Marino
Canada
Belgium
Luxembourg
Sweden
Finland
Denmark
Iceland
New Zealand
Slovenia

I doubt that even all 10 of them put together export as much as China. I think we just would have to stop buying at all.

Re:Human Rights (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39535077)

The top 10 countries with the best HR records are

Norway San Marino Canada Belgium Luxembourg Sweden Finland Denmark Iceland New Zealand Slovenia

I doubt that even all 10 of them put together export as much as China. I think we just would have to stop buying at all.

Can I start a rumour that all of them are in favour of free abortions for gay couples?

Re:Human Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39536155)

Abortions are likely free or at regulated cost to anyone in all of these countries.
  The spreading rumors about a revolution suggests that the Chinese are bored with their lack of possibilities for political participation. Democracy, after all, is a constant war mostly without weapons.

Re:Human Rights (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 2 years ago | (#39538555)

New Zealand
Slovenia

Hey, we beat Slovenia! Go Kiwis!

If this is a surprise... (4, Insightful)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532827)

...or even news to you, then you have not been paying attention.
And it is not just in line with the Chine government general attitude towards the internet. It is in line with their general attitude towards any public exchange of information. Internet did not change the attitude, it just made it more difficult to enforce.
Now, start looking for some of the same attitude elsewhere. Lots of people want to control information and define the truth. It is just that the Chinese are more obvious about it and more successful than most.

Re:If this is a surprise... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39534497)

Surely more obvious is less successful. The western propaganda machine is much less obvious and much more effective, so much so that you may even deny that it exists.

Re:If this is a surprise... (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39534679)

This actually highlights the difference between democratic societies and undemocratic societies. In every country there will be those who desire isolation and secrecy, and those who desire openness and transparency, along with everyone in the continuum between. In democratic societies in which power is shared, opposing forces hold each other in check, with a constantly shifting balance of power. In undemocratic societies however, the dominant force has the final say and nothing holds it in check.

You can say that the latter country is only more "obvious" than the former, but that ignores the tremendous structural differences in government and law.

hermes bags (-1)

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What would Internet be, without unfounded rumors? (4, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532877)

No one would be able to smugly post, "Citation?", after each rumor! Or post a Wikipedia link with an article to the contrary.

The Internet has always been a collection of unfounded rumors. Ever since Al Gore did not claim to not have invented not a non-significant part of it.

Slightly inaccurate post (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39532935)

"Weibo" is the name of Sina's microblogging service ("Sina Weibo") and also the Chinese word for "microblogging." Tencent Microblog and other sites have also come under fire and restricted commenting today.

The crackdown has been a long time coming, as Sina and Tencent, among other online microblogging sites, have basically said that they would be laxer than the government would like in cracking down on online discussion, mostly as a way of building their user bases.

More information about the crackdown and the reaction is at http://www.rectified.name/2012/03/31/and-the-reaction-becomes-the-story/.

Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39532987)

The public has no opinion. You might as well point out how many people voted for Saddam Hussein... I think it was over 98 percent.

How likely do you think it is that 83 percent of Chinese people actually agree with internet censorship? And what does that even mean? That something should be censored? I mean, most people are not found of horse-porn or whatever horrible mind searing abomination could conceivably be dredged up by the folks at 4chan. But there is a world of difference between not wanting to see child porn everywhere and agreeing with the systematic domination of all public discourse.

That domination is complete in China. Everything is censored, controlled, tweaked, threatened, bullied, or groupthinked into "order"...

The chinese neither like nor dislike it. They have no right to an opinion either way.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (2, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533041)

So, the chinese are, by your definition, not human? Because humans have opinions on things. They tend like or dislike them. And so on.

Or is it so unacceptable that they simply have a different culture, with different points of importance for them?

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (4, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533141)

Why do people think strawmen are valid arguments? It's really quiet odd. They just make up an opinion, impose it on someone else, and then argue against that as if the first person said that.

Why are you supporting child molestation by the way? That's disgusting.

As to humans and opinions, no humans don't necessarily have opinions. It depends on the intellectual and social environment they exist in. Imagine you live in a religious cult... do you have lots of opinions that are at odds with the cult? Probably not because the whole cult is designed to control what you believe and to use various social pressures to make sure you have those opinions. They're not yours... they are socially imposed.

For example, you have lots of opinions that you never came up with yourself and have never honestly considered. This is true of everyone. We are social creatures and mostly adopt the opinions of our society.

Consider all the counter culture people that tell everyone they're against conforming. Notice now that they all dress like each other. Notice they all tend to use the same vocabulary. Notice that they all tend to have the same opinions about just about everything as each other. Notice that they in fact do conform if anything more rigidly then the masses only to a counter culture.

This is the norm.

what are you thoughts on cannibalism, marrying girls as young as eight years old, or slavery? All socially imposed taboos. My point is not that you should or shouldn't like these things but that it is something not considered acceptable for you to have a varying opinion on the matter. The society has said that Canadianism is wrong. PERIOD. It is not open for debate. Marrying people as young as eight is wrong. Period. Slavery is wrong. Period. We start drilling this into children at around two years old when children ask lots of questions. And we answer most of them. The children pay attention not only to the answers by to the way they are answered. A strong YES or NO is imprinted on their minds in ways a "maybe" or "that's up to you" are not.

This sort of thing continues throughout our lives though of course at a certain point our personalities become more fixed and while we'll outwardly conform we'll remain internally more flexible.

So, in that context do the chinese people have opinions?

They have the opinions they're allowed to have which don't include questioning the power, divine right, or moral clarity of the state.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533321)

The society has said that Canadianism is wrong. PERIOD. It is not open for debate.

Why ya gotta be harshin on the Canucks so bad, bro? They're generally pretty nice people... and Hockey and Poutine are pretty great too.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39534541)

Drats... foiled by spell check yet again!

cannibalism obviously.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39546003)

You have "Canadianism" in your spellcheck?? that seems, odd.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533405)

This is asinine. Just because a (possibly rather large) number of Chinese are NOT PERMITTED TO EXPRESS their opinions against the totalitarian state they live in, does not mean those opinions do not exist.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39534665)

There will be exceptions but consider how many of your beliefs were formed by listening to someone else or getting information from someone else. Imagine if you lived in an environment where it was considered taboo to say anything against the state.

Imagine if it were like admitting racism or some extreme sexual perversion to proclaim disharmony with the state. Consider all the homosexuals in our society that are so indoctrinated against homosexuality that they try really hard to be heterosexual. And that's not even an opinion, that's a genetic sexual attraction.

If our culture which isn't even that strong on condemning gay people anymore and in which there are no real laws against homosexuality anymore (yes there are stupid sodomy laws still but who actually enforces them?)... if our society is still able to get many gay people to try and be heterosexual or otherwise feel shame for their orientation then imagine how strong a compulsion could be if it came with the full backing of the state and it was just against an opinion and not something genetic?

Your belief that the opinions still exist is correct but they don't matter because the compulsion is stronger and for every one person you can find that believes otherwise you'll find 20 that were groupthinked into calling anyone that disagrees a heretic.

This is how religions work as well. Nothing against religion or pervasive state indoctrination. These are tools... and like all tools have no intrinsic moral character. It is how they are used that makes them good or evil.

In any case, an opinion poll from the chinese on a political issue the state has an established opinion on is meaningless.

An actual opinion would require the state to stop interfering in the discussion or simply asking questions for which the state has no opinion.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39534793)

that's a non-argument. that's like saying people who are bound in slavery still have rights because, metaphysically speaking, human rights are innate. oh yeah sure feels good to be born with innate rights when you can't exercise them.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39547701)

so true..

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533309)

It depends a bit on how the question is asked, but I think 83% is pretty likely (and I live in China currently). The foreigners here (like me) do not like it, but they know what they miss, and they may have an interest in some of the censored content. For Chinese people, many are quite concerned about social stability, and think censoring is an excellent way of preventing trouble. And very important: Most never even noticed anything of interest was censored.
To them it is akin to asking: do you think criminals should be locked up on prisons. Apart from some nerds or university students/staff, nobody really cares.

There is something to say for the argument that the public opinion has been influenced by the countries government, but let me tell you"so is our opinion in the west.

For example, many Americans think it is perfectly OK to carry guns around. I think that is a rather strange (and even stupid) idea, but I can see why this is accepted in your country. I however do not conclude from that opinion that you have no real public opinion. You do believe in this right, even although your opinion on this is influenced (sometimes greatly so) by many external factors, such as your countries culture, history but also the media, various lobbying groups and also your countries political leaders.

Same arguments can be made for things like death penalty, war on terrorism, etc etc.

Having opinions without reference frame is rather hard to avoid anyway. So we all are somewhat biased.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39537921)

Our second amendment is not something most of the government encourages much. It is a right passed down from the founders.

We as citizens have a right to be dangerous. Just as I have a right to speak or have my own opinions. You can't be a citizen without being permitted to be dangerous.

The whole point was that the government existed to serve the people not the other way around. And the people unlike europe at the time were not to be peasants but to be free citizens.

To our ancestors that implied many of the rights and powers that nobility had would given to public at large. The nobility were dangerous. They had guns and swords and lots of goons. They'd come at you on horse back and kill you. And there was very little most people could do about it. If a noble wanted you dead you were probably a dead man.

So we have guns because we have a right to be dangerous. This is not something our government encourages. In fact, the FBI and much of the rest of the government is made very uncomfortable by it. However, that is part of the point. Governments should be made uncomfortable by their people rather then the other way around.

The chinese people are not citizens. They are peasants. They've been peasants for their whole national history going back thousands of years. So from their perspective they didn't lose anything. But if you truly think they're free and don't understand the concept of what it means to be a citizen then you're not much of a westerner.

I know the whole anti gun thing is in vogue throughout much of the west now. But who's interests does that ultimately serve? Not the people. And if not the people... who?

In any case, for your anti gun argument to make any sense, you'd have to show that the US government was actively encouraging people to exercise their second amendment rights. As an American who lives here... I can tell you the government goes out of it's way to discourage it. And the government must be taken to court with some frequency for over stepping it's authority to prohibit or regulate the use of guns.

I am a citizen and while I'm a really nice guy... I reserve the right to be dangerous and scare my government. And beyond that, should my government become too corrupt to serve the interests of the people then I also reserve the right to destroy it.

I'd love for you to try and prove that the US government is encouraging people see the government as something they can destroy. That would be priceless.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (3, Informative)

Oyjord (810904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39534857)

"That domination is complete in China. Everything is censored, controlled, tweaked, threatened, bullied, or groupthinked into "order".... The chinese neither like nor dislike it. They have no right to an opinion either way."

This is utter and complete bullshit. I'm an American professor of history, and was in China no more than two weeks ago. I had frequent, open exchanges about politics, economics, society, the Communist Party, Hu Jintao, his likely successor, and even Tiananmen Square with numerous Chinese.

Stop making shit up about China and the Chinese to fit your own agenda.

Re:Public opinion in china is an oxymoron. (1, Troll)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39535681)

The did you now? And what percentage of the youth in china are aware of the Tiananmen square incident? It isn't taught in school. It isn't in the media.

Where would they learn of it?

And as you're claiming to be a professor, do you honestly think 85 percent of chinese want their internet censored for political speech?

Come now Mr educated... what does 85 percent sound like to you? Compare that to other countries and think upon what issues you could get 85 percent of the US or any european country to agree.

Actually process it.

What public forum do the chinese people have in which they are free to express ideas that are controversial?

they sure are sensitive (2)

steve.cri (2593117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533011)

In other countries, I could talk about a faux coup d'etat all day long (although not necessarily about planning one) and the government would not care a damn.

Re:they sure are sensitive (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533037)

You do realise that even in one of the most free countries in the world in terms of free speech, USA, FBI has a watch list of people and organisations that threaten overthrowing the government?

Re:they sure are sensitive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533125)

There's a world of difference between discussing the possibility of a violent overthrow and advocating or threatening one.

Unless you're the PRC government, it seems.

(Or one of their fanbois.)

Re:they sure are sensitive (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533335)

You do realize they're punishing the medium, rather than (or, more likely, in addition to) the people who wrote the messages, right?

Re:they sure are sensitive (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533809)

In other countries, I could talk about a faux coup d'etat all day long (although not necessarily about planning one) and the government would not care a damn.

I sincerely doubt it. They would be probably more lax, but probably in most of the countries the police / intelligence would at least investigate it (did the poster knew of anything of interest / was he just testing the waters for support / whatever). It would be akin to investigating threats to the president.

What is true is that the forum would be less likely to blame (instead they would go for the actual poster) and investigations could be more "polite". But I think (and expect) that a claim like this would be investigated.

Re:they sure are sensitive (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39534067)

Try advocating that the Holohoax is a Jewish fabrication designed to squeeze compensation from the Europeans.

Like in Northkorea (1)

burni2 (1643061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533067)

The persons in charge were identified and executed on site to prevent further infection with dangerous thoughts.

I love it when (4, Funny)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533153)

America gets high and mighty about another country censoring the Internet. Next it will start criticising other countries for their dependence on fossil fuels, their dysfunctional systems of government, and invading other nations.

Re:I love it when (2)

burni2 (1643061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533303)

Don't forget to mention torture, please.

Re:I love it when (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533347)

I read the comments on this post wondering if someone would somehow turn China's behavior into some kind of commentary on the US, acting as if the things the US does are somehow even REMOTELY NEAR China on some imaginary moral scale.

I got through all the comments, surprised that the discussion was squarely focused on China's utterly dismal record on human rights, dissent, freedom of information, internet censorship, etc...until yours.

Actually, your post is more correct in its irony than you can ever know:

Censoring the internet — let me guess: takedowns of sites devoted exclusively to piracy? Yeah, not anywhere NEAR the same as censoring the entire internet for thoughts and requiring real name registration on the internet.

Dependence on fossil fuels — China's new vehicle sales will exceed the US by 2015. China's greenhouse emissions will exceed the US by 50% by 2015. They are expected to double ours by 2020. It will exceed our fossil fuel consumption somewhere in that same timeframe.

Dysfunctional systems of government — "Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." - Winston Churchill (1874-1965), Speech in the House of Commons, November 11, 1947

Invading other nations — I'm sure the fact that China increased its military budget by 11% this year alone, will exceed the US in real military spending by 2025, development of an anti-carrier anti-ship ballistic missile, and its massive buildout of a blue water Navy are for "peaceful regional defense".

But if you really believe that this is the pot calling the kettle black, be happy in your little world of moral relativism, and I hope you get the world you wish for — you know, the one where you think the interests and ideals of China and the Communist Party system are somehow not any better or worse than that of the US and West, just "different".

Re:I love it when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39539529)

as if the things the US does are somehow even REMOTELY NEAR China on some imaginary moral scale.

China only recently got enough power to be morally bankrupt with no fear of punishment. So of course they couldn't be anywhere near the US morally, and maybe will never be that low as that takes a lot of dedication. Say what you will of China, but at least they don't try to take down every single democratic government that doesn't do exactly as told.

China's greenhouse emissions will exceed the US by 50% by 2015. They are expected to double ours by 2020.

Nice, just ignore the fact many more people live there. Even if China produced double the greenhouse emissions the US produces, that would still be less than a quarter of the US' emissions per capita.

Lastly, it was obviously a joke and there's no need to get that defensive.

Re:I love it when (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39544899)

I don't believe China will make it to that point simply by virtual of prosperity. Wealth and power tend to make people more confident and assertive. If there isn't already, there will be a massive schizm among the ruling rank and file. The geopolitical implications of this happening are off-the-chart massive. That is to say, there's know telling what will happen, but the projected view today will not take place into the future.

Re:I love it when (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533535)

Following is the precise reason that I, an American, can cast judgement on the Chinese government:

"Both President Obama and House Speaker Boehner are doing a terrible job in their respective offices. Boehner actively pursues policy that will harm most Americans, and Obama signs bills that are harmful to the American people. Additionally, there is no current candidate for presidential office that will sincerely and genuinely defend the liberty of most American citizens."

In China, this statement (or any analogue of it -- in China, you've only got The Party) wouldn't last long. Let's see how long it lasts in the land of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...

Re:I love it when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533537)

Hurray! You win! You're the winer of todays Snarky Douche award today for bringing up America first in an attempt at equivocation! You're so clever! Congratulations!

Re:I love it when (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533869)

America gets high and mighty about another country censoring the Internet. Next it will start criticising other countries for their dependence on fossil fuels, their dysfunctional systems of government, and invading other nations.

Swampash, you have an interesting world outlook. So, is America does anything wrong, the we must accept and even apologize for atrocities committed by other governments? In your world, Swampish, America had no moral standing to liberate the Nazi death camps because we perpetuated racial injustice with our segregated army of that era.
 
That's your world Swampish, it's not my world or the world of my children.

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Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533331)

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So, was there a coup attempt?! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533361)

I find that the most interesting part of the story... the alleged stability of the PRC which attracts western companies could be at stake here.
I know this is a tech site, but we could be talking about news of historic proportions.

Inside Jobs (5, Insightful)

MichaelBlaugh (2607775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533371)

There is heavy unrest at the elite level China now, and the authorities are handling it in the typical full-retard fashion with which authority typically handles things in general.

Two weeks ago, Bo Xilai was removed by Wen Jiabao. This conflict has been buzzing all over the news here, and it is profoundly important.

Xilai was a classic Chinese Marxist (think "Cultural Revolution" posters) who was steering Chongqing towards a social democracy. His major contributions included deposing the mafia, which angered the businessmen, and offering low-income housing. Wen Jiabao, on the other hand, is very similar to Deng Xiaoping in that he espouses the newer vision of a "free-market" China, where invisible hands reign and free market is the best path to their prosperity.

The Marxist side of China has been raging ever since, and much of these people have been put on a "terrorist watch list", so to speak.

On the other hand, China still very much has an underground internet presence. You just haven't heard of it. As someone who is living here, I assure you, discourse is far from stifled.

Re:Inside Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39535065)

Damn hipsters.

I don't need your underground indie productions, it's all low-budget sophomoric crap anyway...

Re:Inside Jobs (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39545091)

This hockey stick graph [wikipedia.org] speaks volumes. If this proof that Marxism is a complete failure doesn't speak volumes, nothing will outside the confines of any rational human being.

Why root for China? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39533483)

I'm always puzzled by the number of people on Slashdot who seem to root for China and against the US. Anyone who knows anything about China knows that China only works for its Han Chinese, and the vast majority of posters on slashdot hoping for the downfall of the US will never be on the good side of China's foreign or domestic policy. Becareful what you wish for... Or perhaps you should work within the political system to change the US while there still is a superpower free enough to be changed politically.

Re:Why root for China? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533789)

I'm always puzzled by the number of people on Slashdot who seem to root for China and against the US.

There's a lot of anti-US sentiment on Slashdot, some of it quite justified. There's also a lot of shills, including Chinese government shills. Figuring out which is which is an exercise for the student.

(Obvious shills are obvious, but I'd bet there are non-obvious ones as well. The puzzling thing is that whoever is paying the shills seem to think slashdot matters... or perhaps they just use it for practice).

Re:Why root for China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39534249)

Not sure why you are so puzzled.
Aren't the other side just practicing free speech that you so treasure?

Amusing (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39533835)

I am the only that thinks that, in the event of a real coup, this policy would make things so much easier for subverting organizations? People in the coup would only need to control official media; they would need not to control private media and the internet companies because they would already been censoring this information per the government orders.

Less incarcerated people in China than the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39534305)

And meanwhile there are more people incarcerated in the US prison system than in the Chinese and Russian prison systems combined...

Re:Less incarcerated people in China than the US (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 2 years ago | (#39535731)

Dont need lots of prison space when you execute with vigor.

Communist nation has no free speech. (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39534807)

Shocking news. But hey, they have cheap labor, so who cares, right? If those people were allowed free speech, they wouldn't be so cheap anymore.

I understand what you are saying, but (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39536357)

so that different from the removal of advertising from your newspaper because you don't support a related political party? Or having to run all media content past the company lawyers before it's aired?

Freedom, oh freedom... (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39546807)

So, it is somehow 'sad' that rumour-mongering and whipping up trouble is now illegal - in China, at least?

I am not necessarily convinced the best way to go about things is by going after the blogging services - I know too little about the subject. What I am convinced of is that you need to have a paricularly crooked mind to think that it is wrong to require truthfulness in reporting - all reporting. This is even more important in a democracy; the way American news media twist the trust or even outright lie does unfortunately have a huge influence on the way people choose to vote. If you believe in democracy and freedom, you must by logical necessity require that reporting is objective and truthful. It may not be practically possible to enforce, but I can't see that anybody can find fault with the logic of this.

The only people who have reason to be against this, are the ones who profit from spreading lies: the anti-democratic nut-jobs on the fringes and the religious fear-mongers, to whom truth and freedom are works of the Devil.

You may ask who is going to decide what is truthful? Well, haven't you learned anything from science? Science, or the scientific method, is the most democratic thing there is: you present your hypothesis, and everybody can check your data and accept or reject it based on their own insight. It doesn't require huge, intellectual resources, we are all able to do it, if we are allowed to.

As for China: they have the right to make their own choices, and our meddling is no more than bad manners, really. And what evidence do we in the West have to fear China's government? I mean, truthful and objective evidence - not the shite that you have gobbled up from the likes of Fox News. Of all the nations in the world, China seems to be the least aggressive and has been so for centuries. Even a pathetically small country like Denmark (my country) has been more aggressive to its neighbors.

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