Tuesday, September 13, 2005

# Posted 6:42 PM by Patrick Belton  

RED GREENS: China's disastrous environment has been a source of Western comment for years, notably by this blog's friend Elizabeth Economy at the Council on Foreign Relations. Now, it's even a source of rural Chinese comment - and dissent - by local party officials against PM Wen Jiabao, with a group of village leaders joining force and threatening to resign en masse unless the centre takes swift action. This is worth watching.

If only Yahoo had comparable stolidity in standing up to the government in Beijing. Yahoo provided the government with e-mail account information identifying journalist Shi Tao, of Contemporary Business News, which it used to convict Shi under state secrecy laws and sentence him to ten years in prison. Shi had sent notes by email on a government circular spelling out restrictions on the media; with Yahoo's help, the Chinese government was able to trace the email to Shi. (See Wired, Reporters without Frontiers). For once, their name as yahoos sounds remarkably apt, if generous.
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