Wang Jianshuo's BBC interview aroused hot debate

Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2005 7:55 PM #central kindom

via: wang jianshuo's blog

related links:

image thief - China Bloggers Learn Hard Lessons about International Media

wang jianshuo, unhappy with BBC's abuse of his "no comment" statement about chinese media censorship, put a post to complain. the post attracted defense of the BBC reporter, sympathies as well as vehement attacks.

micah contributed one of the smartest comments (i am not totally agree though):

WJS and the rest of the Chinese webloggers see their world/internet as defined by the boundaries that the government has set for them. Of course, the economic boundaries are loosening so they are excited to expand into new territories (even territories that other countries don't include in their laws, and that China is uniquely able to take advantage of). And when somebody mentions the walls, they see the walls far from where they were before, and get frustrated that the rest of the world is so focused on the limits when there is so much room to expand that didn't exist before. "Take advantage, seize the day!" they say.

As for the BBC and the rest of the world, they see the walls expanding too. But from their point of view the Chinese walls still enclose a much smaller space than their own laws, and they themselves are not participants in the new expansion because they are not living in China and because they are more blind--due to language and culture differences--to a lot of the growth and excitement that is going on there, socially, economically and politically. So from their point of view they can only wonder why the WJS, Isaac and the CN Bloggers are reluctant to talk about the limits being too small.

Of course, the speed of expansion and consequences for criticizing the walls are also issues, issues that have two sides as well.

one commentator accused wang of lying or covering up in front of foreign media:

Fortunately, most Chinese netizens I believe have no trouble to pinpoint the shamelessness on WJS's part in his denial of the existence of censorship. Mr. Wang Jianshuo, you are so arrogant and self-indulgence, that you even think you are above truth? You are dead wrong. You are living in a 3rd world country without basic human rights to expression, and your blog says it all.

another blogger called woz developed a long post (in chinese) to comment on chinese reactions towards western interests in media censorship in china, the title is "there must be somebody to tell the world the other truth" and the writer argued that the interest in media censorship in china is not a pre-set perspective by western media, that is the mission of any journalism, some chinese won't tell the "other" truth because of self-censorship or pride, it's fine, but they should not feel uncomfortable when people tell the "other" truth or when western media ask for the "other" truth. the post ended with a following question:

when Mr. Wang Jianshuo says "As everyone can see, there is not much censorship on this blog and I can talk the topic I choose to talk about." and "I don't want to comment on this" like a piece of cake, has he ever realized that the blog of Isaac Mao, the same guy he mentioned in his post, has been stopped for several monthes, why?

fair comment and i totally agree, the only problem is why they think wang jianshuo lied in front of BBC? their attitute towards wang jianshuo makes me very uncomfortable. chinese democratic fundamentalists still keep the intolerance inherited from their red guard forefathers, what a sadness.

update 11/10:

another interviewee Zhang Yining (one of the organizers of CBC), angered by the BBC's interview and the way of distorting his views, wrote a post (in chinese) and protested:

Rabiya, BBC, and all the big media:

Do NOT set the interviewees up, do NOT use the interviewees, do NOT manipulate them by cornerning them and directing them to the opinions you yourself want to present, so to fit into your own political agenda.

So if that's what you are doing, sorry, there is no way I can cooperate.

Tonight, it's not about censorship, but fair and professional reporting. Censorship is another game, we will play it another day.