Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Foreign journalists increasingly threatened in China

TV show host Yang Rui of CCTV
Recent incidents targeting foreigners in China are highlighting a xenophobic streak among Chinese officials that, for some, has fascist undertones 

The level of harassment and threats foreign journalists based in China are facing today is worse than ever, some are saying, following the expulsion of a reporter from Qatar-based TV network Al-Jazeera and comments by a top TV show host that exposed an alarming xenophobic streak within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

In a message posted on a popular China-based microblog last week, Yang Rui (楊銳), host of the popular show Dialogue, which is aired on state-owned China Central Television (CCTV), shared his views on how China should rid itself of “foreign trash,” a reference to a recent campaign launched by the Public Security Bureau that targets foreigners who work illegally in the country. 

“Cut off the foreign snake heads. People who can’t find jobs in the US and Europe come to China to grab our money, engage in human trafficking and spread deceitful lies to encourage emigration,” he wrote in Chinese. “Foreign spies seek out Chinese girls to mask their espionage and pretend to be tourists, while compiling maps and GPS data for Japan, [South] Korea and the West.” 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here with Yang’s attack on Al-Jazeera’s Melissa Chan and threats against a blogger in China.

1 comment:

Michael Fagan said...

"Cut off the foreign snake heads."

Whilst language of this type may be picked up by some as evidence that the CCP is in fact rather more National Socialist than Communist, I don't think there can be any argument about the collectivist premises that underpin its use, and which are common to both.

Nazis. Commies. Whatever: their common disregard for the individual human being is identical, just the filters are different (racial or "class" based hatred).

And - lest we neglect - the same collectivist premises are active in nation-state democracy too, with their expression moderated largely by the continuation of relative material prosperity.

Even in times of apparent wealth, there are still real-live neo-Nazis prowling the net-sewers of Germany and anti-semites crawling all over the webs of the Marxist Left.

But they are not even the most frightening people.

It's the well-meaning activists (and they are largely on the fractured, seething Left) - the constantly preening fashionistas fresh out the dorms with their bicycles, wristbands and wankers' hats trying to get the State to ban this, or fund that or "encourage" the other all the while blissfully and deliberately ignorant to the bursting of all the bonds - both little and large - that had previously held the State back by some meagre measure. It is as if they simply do not realize that it is only a matter of time before the genuine nasties get hold of what it is they are inadvertently helping - broken principle by broken principle, precedent by precedent - to put into place.

The fact that we are now looking at tax increases to match State spending even in the supposed "economic tiger" of Taiwan - rather than actual spending cuts as part of a program of depoliticization - is testament to both the power of democracy and the weakness of any "liberal" restraints.

A pair of plyers to grasp the general point:

"...I can see his eyes are filled with anti-Chinese hatred,” he wrote on Weibo, in comments that have since been removed."

Deja vu, eh?