Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The US and China

The website I have chosen is The Oval, a website dedicated to reporting on news stories relating to President Obama and the White House. The article details President Obama's desire to open lines of honest communication with China, and his desire to address the well known issues of free speech, personal freedom and human rights that have been such an enormous issue for China in the past.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that China's global popularity and how it is seen, is directly as a result of the way in which it treats its people. There have been numerous stories of free speech being taken away from the Chinese people, and the Chinese government's tight grip on media outlets and the Internet. In England and across Europe, it is not uncommon to hear of stories where Chinese people that have protested their lack of personal freedom and have been given jail time or subjected to questioning by Chinese police. Chinese Google has often been criticised for its censorship of things that the Chinese government either disagree on or don't want Chinese people to see, and there was a very loud and public backlash against attempts by officials to censor the Internet in China. Google asserts that the Chinese government hacked in to gmail accounts of some political opponents in order to find out information about them. This blatant act of invading one's privacy seems very old fashioned not only to me, but also to many Americans, whom I imagine wouldn't have expected that from any modern super power.

While America seems concerned with Chinese human rights, the Chinese seem more interested in discussing the American economy and recession, perhaps showing that they really are the ruthless economic power that is so often reported by western media.

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