When the club of countries with massive Internet censorship shrinks, the Chinese government is just that much more exposed.
Now might be a good time to return (follow-up being considered prime ground for Pulitzer aspirants) to Secretary Clinton’s big speech on Internet freedom and its reception in the wake of the Google in China kerfuffle.
If the Chinese government believes so ardently in both Western hypocricy when it comes to Internet speech and its own evident superiority in freeing the web from perverse notions as nudity and democracy, then where are the tidal wave of domestic book publications on the matter that the Party could surely produce?
It is a matter of pure luck for the CCP that the Egyptian protests are happening now and not in April and May when Chinese university students -who are among the most feared groups in China for both the heavy doses of information that they consume and for the unpredictable ways in which they will use it- are back on campus and more readily mobilized. Although the CCP is allegedly trying to ake nice with Japan after a turbulent and propaganda-heavy 2010, the Party will gladly scortch the earth of Sino Japanese relations and unleash another series of anti-Japanese protests on Chinese campuses (Beijing in April, anyone?) if the democratic toxins have not been sufficiently purged.
What would Mao say about Mubarak? I would imagine a torrent of untranslateable chengyu would spring forth about the need to nationalize all industry, pick up the mantle of anti-mperialist pan-Arabism, and maintain a nigh-murderous pace of political campaigns which simultaneously provide much-needed corvee labor.
Why does everyone trot out the death clips of Romanian dictators from 1989-90 when forcasting Armaggedon for North Korea but not in the present case?(Perhaps North Koreans are more vicious, repressed, and yet schooled in the arts of revenge than their Arab counterparts?) Does this whole episode threaten the rapid and Egypt-led advance (tke that, China Unicom!) of the North Korean mobile phone network? Is it possible that the outbreak of one revolution can in fact delay the emergence of another?
And why hasn’t anyone noted that China’s reluctance to support change in Egypt has an upside for the PRC’ relations with that other grat bastion of post-Left conservatism, Israel?
Apologies for the discourteous lack of links in this post; thanks to a recent WordPress tutorial (via some smart people in Paris, where the smoke from the crumbling Bastille sometimes seems hardly to have cleared), I am now able to post to Sinologistical Violoncellist directly from my Kindle reader. Political sensibilities, meet technology. If this is what globalization is capable of, and if it can stimulate rather than retard the pace of expanded human liberty (still an open question!) then bring on the digital Jacobins!