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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Internet Freedom, China Policy

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FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
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INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 000230

DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EAP/CM, EAP/PA, EAP/PD, C
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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: INTERNET FREEDOM, CHINA POLICY

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Editorial Quotes
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1. INTERNET FREEDOM

a. "The White House started the 'Internet War' to prepare for
elections"

The official Communist Youth League China Youth Daily (Zhongguo
Qingnianbao)(01/28)(pg 2): "The Chinese people are a little confused
by the fact that an unprecedented 'Internet War' is occurring when
U.S.- China relations are healthy. The United States' goal is by no
means to save Google but to prepare for the 2010 Congressional
elections. President Obama and the Democratic Party have paid
special attention to the Congressional election since they already
lost points on a number of domestic issues. Obama is facing a
dilemma. Only by switching the focus can Obama obtain the
encouraging morale he needs to welcome in the next Congressional
elections. According to the United States' political tradition,
whenever they're experiencing domestic conflict, they will always
look for China's flaws. Thus, when the Google incident broke out,
it is not strange that President Obama and Secretary Clinton both
issued such high-profile criticisms against China. The election
campaign is the United States' domestic affair and other countries
should not get involved. Also, manipulating the Internet issue and
criticizing China is not a decent move."

b. "Chinese Internet users need to be fought over"

The official Xinhua News Agency international news publication
International Herald Leader (Guoji Xianqu Daobao)(01/28)(p 17): "On
January 22, the U.S. Embassy in China invited more than 40 famous
Chinese bloggers, including the anti-CNN webmaster Rao Jin, for a
discussion on Internet freedom. As the Olympic torch relay incident
happened in 2008, and when Western media was spreading false news on
the Tibet issue, it was the anti-CNN, who represents the grassroots
of Chinese Internet users and revealed the truth, which hit the
Western media head-on. The U.S. Embassy's seminar happened at a
subtle time; while the Google incident is escalating. From whatever
point of view, it looks like a well-planned battle for the network
public's opinion. It is an unprecedented and networked diplomatic
battle, which highlights the Obama administration's new foreign
policy style. President Obama, historically, has been the most
successful official when battling for the network public's opinion.
He has dominated online discourse and realized his political goals
via the Internet. This is not the first time that Chinese Internet
users experienced the United States' diplomatic battle in person.
An 'online briefing' was held concerning Obama's visit to China last
year. At the seminar, American diplomats were modest and sincere
when talking to grass-root Chinese Internet users. After the
seminar, Rao Jin also said that, in comparison, the Chinese
government has never once invited anti-CNN. Chinese officials are
supposed to put out more effort in winning over Internet users. Of
course, Chinese Internet users, like Rao Jin, won't easily be won
over by a few U.S. Embassy sponsored seminars. However, before this
newest battle with the U.S., China's foreign departments seemed to
lack any new thought or method to deal with this type of scuffle.
Although the Chinese government sternly responded to Secretary
Clinton's speech on Internet Freedom, in the process, it seems that
the Chinese Internet and Chinese Internet users, whom the sword of
the United States was actually aimed at, have been forgotten. A
non-traditional diplomatic battle, a first in the Internet era,
should first break old diplomatic concepts. This network diplomacy
needs to break down the boundaries of 'official' and 'non-official,'
'internal' and 'external,' as well as the differences among various
departments, but fully respect Chinese individual's wisdom, becoming
conscious of information transparency and sharing."

2. CHINA POLICY

"The impact of China's economic adjustment measures on the world"

The People's Daily-sponsored and internationally-focused commercial
news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao)(01/28)(pg 1):
"Although China's macroeconomic policies impact the world in an
unprecedented way, the world's concern about their impact seems to
be exaggerated. Some Westerners accused China, suggesting that its
adjustment polices in order to shrink its economic stimulus plan was
'irresponsible' and 'will slow down the world's economic recovery.'
This shows that it's difficult for China to be the 'good person.'
Zhang Yansheng, director of Foreign Economic Research Institute at
China National Development and Reform Commission, said that China
has recovered from the crisis while the United States and Europe are
still sick. China could help them to recover by increasing China's
imports; however it won't continue to heal along with them. Zhou
Shijian, the senior researcher at Qinghua University, said that
China's macroeconomic policy is receiving increasing attention from
the Chinese people. More than at any time before, China's

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macroeconomic policy is attracting more attention from neighboring
countries and the world. However, the reaction to China's
macroeconomic policy adjustment, in either China's stock market or
other countries' stock market, has usually been exaggerated. But it
is ridiculous to say that China's economic policy is dragging the
world down. The West is interfering in China's macroeconomic
policy-making. Mr. Zhang also said that maintaining a healthy
Chinese economy will benefit the world. China has devoted a great
deal in helping the world emerge from the crisis. Being able to
influence the world's price index and become the backbone of the
global economy suggests that China has become a power country."

HUNTSMAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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