Democracy, media and freedom of speech - China vindicated!

An armed police officer exhales to warm himself as he stands guard near the "Light of the Internet" exhibition during the Second World Internet Conference on Dec. 17, 2015, in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, China
China Just Earned Its Worst Ever Score in an Annual Global Press Freedom SurveyBy CHARLIE CAMPBELL / BEIJING
April 28, 2016
On April 19, Chinese President Xi addressed a forum on cybersecurity. He said officials should “heed public opinions” online and display “greater tolerance and patience” of “well-intentioned” criticism of the authorities. However, any positive reaction to his speech was short-lived: comments about it were immediately censored on social media. On Wednesday, China scored its worst ever marks in the new Freedom of the Press report by Freedom House, with the advocacy group blaming a “trend of ideological tightening” under Xi. Freedom House scored China 87/100 — with higher marks indicating greater restrictions — on press freedom in its 2016 survey. (Last year was the China’s previous worst score with 86.) “Censorship of news and Internet content related to the financial system and environmental pollution increased as the economy slowed and smog intensified, adding to the topics’ political sensitivity,” noted the report, which has been published every year since 2002 … for more, go to 

Democracy, media and freedom of speech - China vindicated!

KUALA LUMPUR (February 2018): For decades the pro-US international media have been demonising China for its alleged anti-democracy and anti-freedom of speech policies.

The criticisms levelled against China heightened in the 21st Century digital era after China banned certain search engines which it deemed entirely bias and aimed at only promoting the US global agenda.

However, China is now vindicated as American and European governments start mulling media and internet controls.

They are now saying such bans were needed to check the growth of fake news and media abuse.

I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road asks: “Wasn’t those the same reasons given by China for some form of control and legislation of media and freedom of speech?”

So, the US and Europe still have the credibility, legitimacy and standing to continue criticising China on its control over the media and freedom of speech?

This is a Business Insider UK online news report on British Prime Minister Theresa May calling for a new legal crackdown on the abuse of politicians and other public figures on social media:

"Theresa May calls for new laws to ban the abuse of politicians on social media

Adam Bienkov, Business Insider UK
February 6, 2018

Sky News
· Theresa May says new laws are needed to outlaw the online abuse and bullying of politicians and other public figures.

· The prime minister says the bullying of politicians online has become a growing “threat to democracy” which must be tackled.

· MPs from all parties have reported receiving death and rape threats online.

· New official review will examine which new laws are required to stop online abuse.

LONDON – Theresa May today called for a new legal crackdown on the abuse of politicians and other public figures on social media, saying that online “bullying” has now become a growing “threat to democracy.”

The prime minister said that social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, had “become places of intimidation and abuse” for public figures and said that new laws were now needed to make sure “what is illegal offline is illegal online.”

In a major speech to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK, May said the Law Commission would look at which new laws were needed to crack down on “offensive online communications”.

Speaking in central Manchester on Tuesday afternoon, May said that a new “tone of bitterness and aggression has entered into our public debate,” due to the rise of social media.

She said the government would also consult on making the online intimidation of political candidates a criminal offence.

The government will also look at the “legal liability” of social media companies for abuse that takes place on their platforms.

The prime minister said public figures “from candidates and elected representatives to campaigners, journalists and commentators” now “have to contend with regular and sustained abuse” online.

She said she believed abusive behaviour was now a real “threat to our democracy” which must be tackled by both the government, technology firms and the media.

MPs from across the House of Parliament have spoken out recently about a surge in online abuse and intimidation in recent years, with female politicians, in particular, subjected to repeated rape and death threats while online.

The prime minister said that public figures who were female and from ethnic minorities had been most targeted both “in terms of scale and vitriol.”

In order to deal with the problem, May said the government will now publish a new social media code of practice later this year which will set out new rules for social media platforms as well as a new annual “transparency report” which will “track companies’ progress in stamping out online abuse.”

The prime minister said that failure to tackle the problem would “squander the opportunity new technology affords us to drive up political engagement, [and] have the perverse effect of putting off participation from those who are not prepared to tolerate the levels of abuse which exist.”

A spokesperson for the PM would not be drawn on which new laws the prime minister would like to bring in however, telling Business Insider that they would await the findings of the Law Commission report.

Reacting to the speech, Labour today warned against any attempt to restrict free speech.

“Real democracy is about opening up debate and decision making to all,” the shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said.

“Closing down that space, whether it comes from government, the media or online trolls is anti-democratic. The Tories should end their personalised attacks, curb the abuses from sections of the media and impose effective sanctions on social media giants which allow abuse.”
Online bullying

Theresa May’s cabinet
REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool

May’s speech followed a meeting of her Cabinet on Tuesday morning. A spokesperson for the prime minister said that a large number of members of the prime minister’s top team had spoken out about the “need to do more to tackle online bullying” and abuse.

This is the second time in recent weeks that May has singled out technology firms for failing to do enough to protect the public from abuse and online extremism.

In a speech last month, the prime minister accused social media firms of giving a platform to terrorists, slave traders and paedophiles.

She told the World Economic Forum in Davos that new forms of technology were being exploited by people with “malevolent intentions,” and called on technology firms to stop their platforms becoming the “first choice for paedophiles” and terrorists."

A student union member makes more space on the so-called Democracy Wall at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in September. The posted signs advocate for the territory’s independence.CreditAnthony Wallace/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Glavin: China's big lie about freedom of speech – or any other freedoms, for that matter
Published on: July 5, 2017 | Last Updated: July 5, 2017 11:41 AM EDT
Liar, coward, or hypocrite? It’s hard to say, given the amusing discrepancies between the official embassy translator’s account of the inanities People’s Republic of China ambassador Lu Shaye uttered during an interview last Friday with the Canadian Press, and the account contained in official transcript of the conversation the embassy later produced. Besides, lying, cowardice and hypocrisy – all three – are the key prerequisites for the job Lu occupied immediately prior to his appointment to Ottawa in February. He was the director general of the Policy Research Bureau of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. So he would know what he was doing, and how to do it. The gist of Lu’s long complaint, going by the reliably stenography-standard Canadian Press account: Powerful, ill-informed and “even prejudiced” Canadian journalists persist in taking an unfairly dim view of the Beijing dictatorship, and Canadian politicians “bow before media,” and so the prospects for a Canada-China free-trade agreement (a third round of “exploratory” talks resumes in a few days) are being unduly impaired by the clutter of backchat about democracy and human rights … for more, go to