CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 23 March 2019

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Confused call for freedom

HONG KONG (SE): “China should open up more channels for criticism and suggestions and encourage constructive criticism. 

There also should be a certain amount of tolerance for unconstructive criticism,” Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Communist Party published Chinese paper, Global Times, wrote on a blog on February 14.

Hu said that while allowing a greater freedom of speech can lead to problems, he believes that China has the mechanisms and infrastructure to deal with those, but the recent history of China shows that the vitality of society and free speech are closely linked.

Interestingly, the blog was posted as China is toughening up on human rights lawyers and dissidents who criticise society, as well as cracking down on members of the People’s Liberation Army.

Hu also had a dig at the lack of transparency in China, but ironically, in the past months his paper did support a decision to expel a French foreign correspondent, Ursula Gauthier, and revoke her media accreditation for writing a critical article on the Uyghur situation in northern China.

The blog is a confusing call from a party mouthpiece at this particular time, when there is a tightening on freedom in general.

 

However, it is an English language publication and primarily targets foreign audiences, so has more to do with what China wants the world to think than local people.

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