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April 16, 2006


Rebecca MacKinnon

Hah. I haven't read the China Times since 1992. Why should I start now? I've got better things to do.

Tim Maddog

Rebecca replies:
- - -
I haven't read the China Times since 1992. Why should I start now?
- - -

Um, maybe because you might want to know something about the kind of people whose "support" you've accepted. Maybe because their lies are big and require someone with a large media "footprint" to counter them.

No thoughts on those "spontaneous" memes, eh?

Rebecca MacKinnon

Those memes are largely due to journalistic laziness, rather than some China Times-led conspiracy. Believe me.

People e-mail me every day about all the things I ought to be doing and writing about. If I could clone myself into 10 Rebecca MacKinnons perhaps I could do half of them. Barring that, I'll focus my engergies on what I think is most urgent - like getting Hao Wu, our global voices Northeast Editor released from jail, research on internet censorship and corporate responsibility, trying to manage and expand Global Voices, and speaking/teaching about online citizens media. If you would like to write China Times critiques please do so and we can link to them on Global Voices.

Tim Maddog

It's amazing how that "laziness" you describe not only results in the use of almost exactly the same words (a key element of successful propaganda), but too often tends towards mendacity as well. It's equally amazing how the China Times' "laziness" never results in any lies that favor the Chen Shui-bian government. That sounds more like "a concerted effort" to me.

I have no intention of telling you what to write about, but I really think you should beware the motivation behind the China Times' "sponsorship" of your visit. You can't really be unaware that they most certainly have an objective in doing so. If you willfully ignore that, it will surely reinforce my increasingly poor opinion about your end of the deal.

BTW, I have been previously linked by Global Voices (re: criticism of ESWN and Apple Daily), and I wrote critical comments about the use of the word "discussed" (more likely linked to laziness) within that post.

If you want to know something about why there is "very little conversation taking place between Taiwanese and mainland Chinese bloggers," as you mentioned way up above, take a look at the comments to this post by Taiwanese blogger Jen on London Calling.

I'm sure it's in the interest of all of us to get Wu Hao out of jail, and I would be more than happy to work toward this common goal. How about at the same time, we also work together towards a media that's a lot more honest than what we've got now?

Rebecca MacKinnon

I'm aware of their motivation, which is why I disclosed their assistance in the first place. If I was part of some conspiracy I wouldn't be telling you about it. I do not feel obliged to change my views or behavior, and I won't. There was no quid pro quo other than the hope that I would give a somewhat coherent presentation in Mandarin on Saturday, and agree to do some press interviews. In which I said whatever I wanted. I received no honorarium whatsoever for my time. I will continue to do the work I've been doing, which includes trying to use blogs and citizens media to improve the media environment worldwide. I see no reason why this trip should change my priorities in any way. As I said, please feel free to let me know when you write things about the China Times and other Taiwan-related issues that you think need attention, and I'll be happy to link or comment as warranted. I think I've said all that there is to say on this matter .


What's all this talk about China times? I know they are pro-unification. What's wrong with making that stand? How did they lie?

As far as I'm concern, Taiwan became part of China the day Ching Kai Shek landed on Taipei and declared it to be part of China. Besides, according to the President of ROC website, he himself declares Taiwan to be a province inside ROC. Please visit his website and look for his mailing address.

Also, the PRC is already a democracy.

See: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2003-12/08/content_288018.htm.

Article 2 of the constitution states that power belongs to the people.
Article 60 states that NPC (legislature body) has a 5 year term.
Article 34 states that anyone above the age of 18 can vote and stand for election.
Article 79 states that the President of China is elected by members of NPC (legislature) which imply that if independent candidates get enough seats at the NPC, there can be a non-communist party President.
Source: http://english.people.com.cn/constitution/constitution.html

All the words are of no use if it is not put in practice. And it is put in practice. Independent candidates are getting elected into the NPC and people are participating in elections as can be read from the news clipping above, also remember the Tai Shi election fiasco? That the people were willing to confront authorities over election fraud proves that the people elected into such positions are not puppets.

And if you don’t believe all that, refer to the good old trusty CIA world fact book on China where they say the last election was held from March 15 to 17, 2003 and the next one will be held in 2008 and I quote:

“elections: president and vice president elected by the National People’s Congress for five-year terms; elections last held 15-17 March 2003 (next to be held mid-March 2008); premier nominated by the president, confirmed by the National People’s Congress”
From: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ch.html


OMG, mahathir_fan, please read the following website, and hope you can say China is a democracy.



In Malaysia, we did worst than China. See Operasi Lalang: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Lalang

Yet, we have always been considered a democracy.


I'm sorry to hear that there is so little interface between the English-language expat bloggers and local Chinese-language bloggers.

"A-listers" - I like that word even less than "Web 2.0".

I look forward to seeing the results of your efforts (Michael & Schee).

I seem to remember Schee aggregating some weblogs on his site many years ago - somehow mine was on that list. With weblogs going mainstream it's pretty tough to bring all the voices together but it would certainly be great to meet the writers behind so many wonderful sites.

Steven Crook


On April 17, 2006, you wrote:

"Given how little media attention Taiwan tends to get in the international press (and what they do get is either economic news or about Taiwan's relationship with mainland China), Taiwanese bloggers can potentially play an important role in opening a window for outsiders to understand the island better. So far they have not really played this role. Likewise, Taiwanese blogs have for the most part not made much effort to form conversational bridges with bloggers elsewhere. There is very little linking even to the other Chinese language blogospheres - Hong Kong and mainland China - and very little conversation taking place between Taiwanese and mainland Chinese bloggers."

Do you think that's still true today?

Best wishes,

Steven Crook

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