Thursday, May 22, 2008
Openness -- Chinese style
Reports from the media all over the world are trying to show that there is a new spirit of openness in China after the recent devastating earthquake. Journalists were not prevented from reporting first hand, (some) criticism of the relief effort was allowed (it apparently helped if their reports showed Prime Minister Wen Jiabao actively helping with the relief work), select foreign journalists were allowed in....get the idea? Nicolas Kristof, the Op-Ed columnist of the New York Times who has been following the developments has a report today about this new spirit of openness. The evidence is apparently mixed but one phrase caught my eye -- China’s police announced that they had punished 17 earthquake “rumor-mongers” last week, with penalties of up to 15 days in jail. Jee-Whiz-Bang-Wow! China is really opening up. I am sure by this time next year, we are going to see full-fledged multi party democracy in the Mainland.