Monday, October 12, 2009


so reads the headline. Some details:
The authorities kicked one reporter and two cameramen and hit their heads to make them knee [sic] down at a room of Beijing Hotel, which faces Chang’an Avenue that runs east to west past the Tiananmen Square area where the National Day celebrations will be centered. The authorities, who stormed into the room around 8 p.m. without notice, destroyed two computers by throwing them out of the room to the corridor.

While non-authoritarian nations are far from perfect in the realm of free speech and free press, this is one aspect of contemporary Chinese politics and society that shouldn't be blithely ignored. The benefits of engaging with China may be so great that authoritarian excesses like these can be overlooked but perhaps at a long-term cost.

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