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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

Does the Chinese government want to be the world’s censor?

Posted on Feb 24, 2018 in International Relations, News, Op Ed, Publications | Comments Off on Does the Chinese government want to be the world’s censor?

By Yang Jianli 2/23/2018  Recently, a poster for Mercedes-Benz by the same-named German auto maker sparked a “public opinion” protest in China. Caving to pressure, on February 6, 2018, Daimler AG (of which Mercedes-Benz is a division) issued a public apology. Although China’s foreign ministry spokesperson did not explicitly state that the apology was made at the behest of Chinese authorities, nevertheless, he still declared in a victor’s tone: “Recognizing one’s mistakes and correcting them is the most basic principle of conduct.” Indeed, there is no need to speculate whether the Chinese government exerted direct pressure on Daimler AG. Under Beijing’s increasingly strict control, no large-scale online media story can develop in China without official permission. The so-called “pressure of public opinion” is, in fact, pressure applied by the Chinese government. I think the most surprising aspects of this...

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