Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Opinion_BBS crackdown(Update 2)

The BBS crackdown in China's colleges has been discussed in blogsphere these days. In precise words, it is not crackdown, but restriction for the outsiders to visit. But it meant "crackdown" to many graduates who has always visited the school's bbs after their graduation. One of my friends who has just set up a blog in SMTH(Shuimu Tsinghua) said that it is lucky that she had saved all her blogs just before the close of SMTH. But another friend, who was not that lucky, has lost all her data in the BBS of Nanjing University after she was forbidden to visit it from outside.

"All my hard work done with heart and blood has gone". She said.

I don't know what to say when one professor asked me why the government did that yesterday.
Is there a reason? Or no reason at all? I could understand why such things happened, in some extent. It is not the first time, or the second. But what I couldn't understand is that if the economic growth could keep up without free thoughts and speeches. If our leaders think the two conflict with each other, then why not close down the whole Internet?

I am a benifitor of the campus BBS. I visit and experience the campus feelings even after I left the campus. To the students, it is a free forum to exchange ideas with the people inside and outside the campus. I remember the hot discussion once happened in the "Goabroad" board of SMTH, when a former student of Tsinghua University visited and told about his current experience in U.S.

"If there is no SMTH, I will not stand here". said one of my classmates, who had studied in both U.K and Hong Kong. She didn't study in SMTH, but owe a lot to the BBS.

I am not a politician, so I am not in a right position to speak about the policy. But I always believe the freeflow of information is a requistee for a country, just as the freeflow of capital and the free market.


Victor said...

I may not be an appropriate person to talk about this issue, but I think that while Chairman Hu and Premier Wen is helping the poor raise their living standards, they are also tigthening the freedom of speech in the PRC. They are becoming more dictatorship. I remember that Time had an article talking about this issue in the past.

I am happy to be living in the territory. I can browse freely over the web, and I can leave any messages I like. This is one of the setbacks living in China, although some of my friends are quite enjoying their life in the PRC. Perhaps HKers are more money-oriented.

無塵工作室 said...

Please remember that China is different from democratic (or something like that) provinces like Hong Kong, United Kingdom or America. The consitution is different, so please don't regard China with democratic eyes. Sad to say, censorship still happens in China, and immenent.

I have seen a program on BBC1, when politicians from UK (including Lord Chris Patton, the last Governor of Hong Kong) and China (can't remember their names now), and what they 'debated' (if I can call them that) about the most are China's suppression of Human rights and not being democratic enough. They also had a few american-speaking chinese girls asking the spokesperson questions. I personally think they are naive, because they viewed China with 'American' eyes and not objective. Needless to say, that was totally a situation of 'chicken talking to ducks', and got nowhere.

Amy or koala said...

I knew that BBC program, which was held in Shanghai lately. Most academics are arguing if the democratic system in U.S. would apply to PRC. As a Chinese, I wonder the answer, too. In some extent, I trust what leaders do, but I don't understand sometimes, such as the crackdown of BBS and that BBC program. Someone said that the audience were arranged with many people from the bureau.

無塵工作室 said...

It makes me wonder the objective of that program as well, unfortunately I am also not clear of the purpose - was it merely a journalistic piece or it served some political purpose or otherwise? I need to think about that one.

What I strongly feel about democracy is that, after living many years in UK (Hong Kong strictly speaking was never democratic enough, ever since the colonial times), is it really THAT good? I mean, look at the democratic countries like USA, ok, they have freedom, they elected a bad president, they are allow to carry guns for self degense, and gun crime in USA is soaring. If you observe the latest American news about the vegetable woman's court case (you can read a little of that in the news of my blog :D), their government abuses their freedom, and showed no respect for their country's own constitution and law.

The BBS incident, I believe, was probabply because the government don't want chinese student to mingle/mix too much with outside student (especially those who went to America), for fear of the repitition of the world-known 1989 incident, so they kill the plant befor it had a chance.

In theory, a free market need not interfere with politics.

Amy or koala said...

I appreciate your words. I do believe even U.S. has its own problem withe democratics and free market. I think the most important thing for a government is to make the people live well and feel comfortable, either in democratic way or not. I may be too extreme:)

Anonymous said...

The lucky thing is that even if George W Bush is a bad president, he will only be around for six years at the most. Also democracy means having to explain why you do things most of the time (like why you shut down BBSes.)

Whereas in China's case, the group of people that are at the top aren't responsible to anyone in the same way.

When it comes to the BBS crackdown, can't you set up a BBS for alumni to use too? In the end probably everyone who uses the normal university BBS will want to use it as well, because it's more useful to have alumni writing there as well.

(By the way, most of the 'democratic' world probably wouldn't agree that the US political system is a very good example of a democratic system, and would probably say that their election system is better, although they would never choose the Chinese system over the US one.)

Amy or koala said...

hehe, your point is quite similar with the one from former primi Minister Winston Churchill. Good boy.

"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 others that have been tried from time to time."

無塵工作室 said...

"...Also democracy means having to explain why you do things most of the time (like why you shut down BBSes.)..."

Oh do they, my friend? Please come to the UK, Tony Blair and is dominions has yet to provide a plausible explanation as to how and why Britain went to war, amongst other things. It's not even 'most of the time', only 'when they feel like it' or the 'pressure is high'.

The main point is: China has no need to explain why they shut down BBS, whether we like it or not, and should they? Since China is no democracy anyway. Having said that, China did handle this one badly.

And what are the Americans nagging about human rights? Abusing human right is abusing human right, but that doesn't mean democracy is better at respecting human rights, and a vivid example from the vegetable woman's case.

In my opinion, most of the democratic governments on this planet are as bad as one party dictator-like governments. It isn't the theory's fault, but the politicians'. But the problem is, we have no alternative to democracy, most communist governments had failed very badly, N. Korea is a dictatorship, and China can hardly be said as a 'proper' communist government. If we have no alternative, better to stick with this one for the moment, until some visionary comes with a new system.

Amy or koala said...

Let's wish the visionary born ASAP:)