June 16, 2005


Chinese writer tests the power of his press (Chris Buckley, JUNE 16, 2005, International Herald Tribune)

When Chinese government officials confiscated 906 books that Wang Yi had privately printed to give to friends across the country, it seemed unremarkable in a country where censorship is pervasive and rarely challenged.

But for Wang, a law lecturer and writer with a reputation for trenchantly criticizing the government, the confiscation was the opening shot in a battle he plans to wage against what he calls China's increasingly harsh suppression of reports about corruption and social problems and of discussion of political reform.

In a rare show of defiance of China's censors, Wang is suing to have his books returned and to have the right to self-publish respected.

"We have a very pervasive censorship system, and it's becoming tighter and more sophisticated," he said in an interview in Beijing.

"The chances of victory aren't high, but even if the courts let us present our case, let us play the game; that will be a victory, because then we can speak out against this censorship in the public arena."

Hard to take seriously a regime that fears words.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 16, 2005 12:54 AM

Nor the people who defend such regimes against the U.S. My latest alumni magazine was full of praise for North Korea and hatred for the U.S. I knew I should have shredded it without reading.

I was visiting someone the other day and we got to talking about G.W. Bush. I went into my normal extravagant praise of the man and she told me that I was the only person she knew who liked -- who "defended" -- the president.

After I said that Bush was only continuing what Clinton had started and that Bush was hated mostly because he was a Christian and did what he said he would do, her husband left the room and the topic was changed.

I'll never understand -- and maybe that's a good thing.

Posted by: Randall Voth at June 16, 2005 6:53 AM

Randall: Don't try to understand, it isn't worth it. But at least you can recognize it and that is the basis of self-defense from such silliness.

Posted by: Mikey at June 16, 2005 8:27 AM

My latest alumni magazine was full of praise for North Korea and hatred for the U.S.

Where'd you go to school?

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 16, 2005 10:54 AM

anywhere in the u.s. or europe

Posted by: cjm at June 16, 2005 12:25 PM

A private college here in Canada affiliated with the United World Colleges. It was set up by one of our prime ministers, Lester Pearson for "world peace" !!!

Posted by: Randall Voth at June 16, 2005 6:20 PM