Unlike many regimes which consistently deny commiting human rights violations, China has long maintained that many of the ideas which are generally considered to be universal rights (like free speech) aren’t universal at all. For years, the official Chinese line has been that modern, Western ideas of human rights are just that and don’t apply to China. It should come as little surprise, then, that Chinese state media has been very congratulatory of British PM David Cameron’s proposal to extend state censorship over social media, viewing it as a Western concession to Chinese-style politics:
One of the anti-riot measures recently suggested by British PM David Cameron is to prevent rioters from using Twitter and other social networking websites. Such a tactic, which was slammed as a trick resorted to only by authoritarian governments in the past, has had a great impact on world media.
The bold measure indicates that Britain is at its wit’s end on how to stop the country’s worst riots in decades.
Cameron’s suggestion to block social networking websites smashes basic concepts of freedom of speech in the West, which always takes the moral high ground in criticizing the reluctant development of Internet freedom in developing countries.
The editorial goes on to say:
As for China, advocates of an unlimited development of the Internet should think twice about their original ideas.
On the Internet, there is no lack of posts and articles that incite public violence. They will cause tremendous damage once they are tweeted without control. At that time, all governments will have no other choice but to close down these websites and arrest those agitators.
Riots Lead to Rethink of Internet Freedom [GlobalTimes]