This is a rough unfinished Draft. Final version soon !
After another spacious blackout on my Hotel TV, banning CNN’s report on Freedom of the Press in China this time and thus making things quite boring in tht room, I return to the internet for that promised little article on News Blackouts in China. Freedom of Press in China ? As this thorough black-out of CNN (congratulations guys) -banning their 7 minute report on this issue – convincingly proves, it does not exist in China, at all. Mind you – Freedom of the Press has never existed in China, except for some faint glimmering moments. It did not exist under the Manchu’s (Ming Dynasty), it did not exist under the Qing Dynasty, it also did not exist in those latter days, when Famed and Acclaimed Chairman Mao published his first Revolutionary Newspaper,having only 7 subscribed readers and putting him severly at Risk of revenge and worse by the Hands of Local Chinese Warlords and strong-men (See Cambrige Scholar Jonathan Spence’s Book – " Mao "). Freedom of Press did not exist under Chiang Kai Chek’s (so called) National Nanking Governement, as the Red Movement and Armies have found out so direly. And it can be guessed from their mainstay Policies, that freedom of speech and press, much less other political freedoms, were never the Intention of the Communist Movement and Leadership neither. China, as mentioned before, has a tradition of (very mildly put) " Benevolent Tutelage by Governement ", a mainstay of 2000 years of it’s history. Freedom of speech has been alright, for some short time, when a power struggle ensued, and the opinion and support of the Chinese People were in high demand. As soon as power was established over these huge and still growing masses, now literate, but still backward in many ways, the Party – so to speak – was over. A new black-out was installed, and a jovial sauce of propaganda was and is poored down to cover it all up and trick us (and China) into believing that new Progress was made. The benifits are coming is an old message, used by many throughout the ages. And so it is today. All of this tkes me back in memory to the days of the 16th CP Party Congress in 2002, days of Paranoia about the then popular semi-religious group Falun Gong, When all visitors to TiananMen Square were thoroughly searched for protesting banners and other hazardous political materials. Everyone, meaning in this case the Chinese, Not westerners, whom one might traditionally suspect of anti-chinese sentiment (or anti-communist at least). This is an example that still rings through today. It is shown in the unwillingness of Chinese Police Officers to be photographed, it is shown in massive Police and other Security Presence in any place around China (We wouldn’t want anyone to get the feeling China is a Police State, now wouldn’t we?). It is obvious from the lack of Protestors on China’s Streets (recent anti-Japan protesting was state encouraged, however not in China’s Political Centre of Beijing – avoiding a possibly repeat of historic student protests turning on the Governement) and it can be deducted from the Massive Internet Blockage and Censorship that the Chinese Governement still installs for the "benifit" of it’s own population. In this respect, nothing has changed since at least the Times of TinTin, and James Betram’s interesting travels as a Reporter around the years 1936/37. Security and watchful eyes are also a mainstay of China’s Culture. How could they change. Even this has been around for ages.
The question that remains is why Chinese have been and are so eager to suppress the opinions and expressions of their fellow countrymen. One may give the argument, as even I have, that such a huge country with so many different peoples, might descend into chaos without a strong and steering hand, a reason often offered for the 1995 drama at Beijing’s Main Square. Mr. Jiang Zhemin may argue this (although never officially), and so will his followers if they make any statement on this highly taboo subject at all. However, my only answer to that is to tell this story to the americans. It is simply not true, nor very helpfull. The answer ?? Of course lies in human nature. We see it all around us, from the current day Sudan and nearby Zimbabwe, on any continent and inside any country on earth, and from there to our little microcosms at the workplace, and even in my "home" hospital (see erlier in this blog today). The answer is- people that gain power, want to stay in power. It is that way everywhere, around the World. China simply has a historic tradition that amplifies this human flaw. It’s heritage is for officials to fight to come into power, getting away from a wretched life at the bottom. It’s tradition is to gain wealth through power, in which of course, other ones opinions are seldomly helpfull.
More remarks and a finish to this small article in due Time! Eventhough I wrote the entire article in notes already, I am waiting for the right moment of inspiration to finish and complete the lot. There is so much to see and do in Beijing – Right now (June 8Th i can’t find the mood in between of these American Kids, in a crowded internet Cafe).
Please note that this will be a historically oriented article, which intends to show a historical background to Chinese Society and some current day trends to the discussed problem. Much remains to be said about the subject, and most notably there are a lot of positive devellopments too. There is an increasing openness in Chinese Society, and in many fields there is also a fast growing possibility to speak out and share opinions openly. We name but a few of the Signs of these – * The opening of a Sexual Culture Exhibition this week in Beijing (orriginally from Shanghai, but after complaints of neighbours moved to outside Shanghai, now breaking through in Beijing again) – sex and sexual things being a taboo subject for long in China + Culture, * the noteworthy open discussion of China’s problems growing into this new Century plus an open discussion of it’s Future in environment, economics, politics (the word democracy was not sheyed) and Society on Forbes Global Forum, transmitted live on CNN around the world, hosted by Jim Clancy direct from Beijing. * The more slowly growing attitude towards homosexual Men and Women, and the open appearance of Gay Bars in Beijing and Big Cities around China (attitudes in rural areas and small cities as usual lag behind). I am sure there are many more examples.