Toughts, news and small talk mainly concerning China from a berlin perspective

3/27/2005

Chinese media Janus, Li Xiguang


More news from notorious Prof. Li Xiguang, Chinas Media expert Nr. 1 (wrote about him
earlier). China Herald has a post on him, inspired by ESWN. According to the sources they cite Prof. Li seems to be quite flexible in his opinion towards freedom of speech depending to whom he speaks, taking a strong stand for press freedom when he talks to foreign media and same time calling on the own government to tighten the control of the internet. ESWN has a link to an interview with him, where he states:

The most important task is social justice. Only based on social justice, can people be united together. We should insist on humanism spirit, which was also an important part of our tradition. We can reconstruct the value system of Chinese people with the help of our tradition. We should find the common ground of Chinese people’s belief.

Though this sounds quite reasonable I doubt that Prof. Li's definition of "humanism spirit" is the same as that of most western readers.
Also I wonder what kind of "value system" he has in mind, remembering a statement in a BBC interview. There he said, analyzing the problem of corruption, that in past times people had fear, due to Confucianism, Buddhism, or communism. Today their god is money and they have no fear.
Now, for me this sounds like the parole for an authoritarian sytem. Just frighten people enough and they won't do bad things.

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