Always a champion of the people, Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin took to Weibo on Sunday to disagree with the government crackdown on internal disagreement.
In October, the Communist Party introduced a spanking new policy among its members forbidding “improper discussion” of said policies, which then saw the firing in November of another state-run media editor on the grounds of “groundless commentary.”
But the Party’s picking off of its own people has apparently riled up supposedly patriotic journalist Hu. He declared that free speech “is inseparably linked to the vitality of society.” By Wednesday, his post garnered more than 2,000 comments and 1500 likes.
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.
As for the problems it causes, the state has ample capacity to respond
The Wall Street Journal reports that in response, one netizen humorously commented: “Aren’t you afraid of groundlessly commenting on official policies?” But evidently, Hu likes to walk on the wild side.
And this isn’t the first time Hu’s spilled boiling tea on his own Party. Back in 2013 he blasted Chinese environmental authorities for failing to disclose “state secret” statistics on the country’s soil pollution: “China has too many secrets, and secrets become bombs in the end.”
Before that, in the wake of Gmail’s 2011 scandal involving Chinese hackers, Hu roasted the country’s leaders for being “silent and circumspect” about the mainland’s own net security, drawing attention to the “insufficient transparency of information in China.”
Of course, all of the above is decidedly at odds with the Global Times‘ attitude to the likes of Ursula Gauthiers, recently kicked out of China for criticizing the Party’s treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang — perhaps, to Hu, insulting his family is only okay when he does it?
We should also note that Xi Jinping didn’t grace the Global Times headquarters with his presence on a glorious state media inspection tour earlier today.
By Pinky Latt