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Media Editors / September 9, 2020

John Stossel Video: China’s Dark Turn

China’s repression should remind us how critical liberty is.

“I’m more anti-China than you!” That’s one theme of this presidential election. But not long ago, American presidents were excited about China. The communist dictators had begun to allow private property, and the economy boomed. But sadly, political repression may have gotten worse.

Twenty years ago, Bill Clinton said that China wouldn’t be able to censor the Internet. “That’s sort of like trying to nail jello to the wall,” Clinton quipped, to laughter. “Well, the Chinese figured out how to nail jello to the wall,” journalist Melissa Chen of The Spectator explains. “They built an almost perfectly walled-in internet. What they call the Great Firewall.”

The World Wide Web is not world wide in China. Most major Western Internet sites are blocked. A few computer nerds evade the ban, but by and large, China effectively controls its Internet. Even harmless jokes are banned.

Because China’s dictator, Xi Jinping, looks a bit like Winnie the Pooh, now “any time a Winnie the Pooh picture or somebody mentioning Winnie the Pooh [arises it] ends up getting scrubbed from the Internet,” Chen explains.

People who post forbidden things online may have their lives restricted. “You can’t make doctor’s appointments … you can’t travel. So they’ll block you from buying a train ticket or a plane ticket. You can’t basically engage in modern day life in China.”

China’s minorities have it even worse. The government wages cultural genocide against the Uighurs population. It’s cracked down on Hong Kong, too, where protesters demanding freedom waved American flags. They understand the importance of freedom.

I wish American protesters did!

China’s repression should remind us how critical liberty is.

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