aside China Is Going Too Far In Banning Peppa Pig

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China is going to far with its need to control its peoples with censorship. For a disclaimer, this story caught my eye because my granddaughter and I both love the cartoon character of “Peppa Pig.” I had heard about the Chinese leader Xi Jinping banning the character of “Winnie the Poo” because cute bear bearing some remote resemblance to China’s now permanently ensconced president.

Here’s the rub. China is fully convinced it can subject the rest of the world with its strict rules regarding censorship with foreign corporation executives or anyone who dares to do business within its borders and even beyond it. With their long business arms, Chinese leaders may very well get away with this unless there is some push back which is unlikely to occur within the current administration of the republican President Donald Trump.

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Here’s the rest of the story…

On May 4, 2018, Josh Rogin of the Washington Post penned the following op-ed piece, ‘Then they came for Peppa Pig’

Excerpts:

“Most Americans have never heard of Peppa Pig, the cartoon star of a British television show for preschoolers, which Chinese censors started purging from Internet apps and Chinese social media over the past week. Americans may not be bothered that an animated pig was deemed subversive by China’s state media and a bad influence on China’s youth. But we should be.”

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“That China would suppress Peppa at all shows the government’s insecurity about any cultural phenomenon it can’t control. But for foreigners, it may seem harmless. Last year, many reacted with bemusement when China began censoring Winnie the Pooh, partly out of concern he looks like Chinese President Xi Jinping. “

“China’s internal Internet censorship regime is part of its greater effort to control the behavior of its citizens. Combined with blanket surveillance, intrusive monitoring and a new Orwellian social credit score system, the Chinese Communist Party links loyalty to success in all aspects of Chinese life. But aside from altruistic belief in universal human rights, why should Americans care?”

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“The increasingly clear and alarming answer is that Chinese government Internet repression is no longer confined to China or reserved for Chinese citizens. As part of its global foreign influence campaign, the Chinese Communist Party is exporting that censorship and punishing U.S. companies and citizens that step out of line.”

“Now the Party is increasingly exporting its authoritarianism abroad, trying to suppress speech, stifle free inquiry and seek to control narratives around the world,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said at a recent hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. “America and other like-minded nations must contend with this long arm of China and the threat it poses to our open democratic systems.”

“Earlier this year, the State Department officially warned Americans visiting China that they can be arrested for private messages critical of the Chinese leadership. Americans need not even travel to China to fall victim. Following severe Chinese government pressure, Marriott recently fired 49-year-old Omaha resident Roy Jones because he inadvertently “liked” a tweet by a pro-Tibet group.”

“Most foreign companies prize Chinese market access over human rights, an unfortunate but understandable reality. Mercedes-Benz similarly scrubbed an Instagram post — not viewable in China — that quoted the Dalai Lama.”

Image result for images Dalai Lama

“China is not content with censoring and controlling its own citizens. It is using the immense power of its financial resources in every country in the world,” Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice, testified at the hearing. “Right now, China is succeeding in this effort to a shocking degree.”

“For American tech giants, the stakes go well beyond their bottom lines. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) wrote to Apple chief executive Tim Cook last autumn over Apple’s decision to remove apps that allow Chinese users to circumvent China’s “Great Firewall” and relocate some cloud servers inside China at Beijing’s request. The senators said Apple “may be enabling the Chinese government’s censorship and surveillance of the Internet.”

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“Leahy is also pressing Facebook to pledge that it won’t help the Chinese government suppress criticism and hunt down critics if the social network manages to reenter China. In written questions to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Leahy asked whether the platform would assist the Chinese government to repress speech online both inside China and elsewhere.”

“American companies are unlikely to stand up for free speech online absent a clear U.S. government position and strategy, which does not yet exist. In 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Internet censorship the modern version of the Berlin Wall. But in the ensuing decade, the State Department has dropped the ball.”

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“There are several important steps the U.S. government must take now regarding China, said Sarah Cook, senior research analyst at Freedom House. U.S. officials should include Internet freedom in bilateral engagement with Beijing, point out that Chinese coercion of U.S. companies violates China’s World Trade Organization commitments, respond forcefully to any and all violations of free expression involving American companies or citizens, punish Chinese officials who commit abuses, and press U.S. companies to at least do no harm.”

 “Beijing’s argument is that any criticism of the Communist Party, anywhere around the world, is a violation of Chinese sovereignty and an offense against the Chinese people. But if the party is allowed to treat any online content it dislikes as a national security threat, there will be no limits on what it can do to constrain public discourse in free societies.”
“As Thomas Paine said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must . . . undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
Update on May 5, 2018:

15 comments

  1. Hillary Clinton was dead right but it is hard to fight wealth and power. Many will tow the Chinese line when there are business deals involved ; money often silences freedom.

    • Hi Kertsen, you may not be aware of this fact… Hillary is pro-establishment/ big business/ big government. Along with her Clinton Foundation, she is the epitome of wealth and power of the Washington elite. This is one of the main reasons she lost the election to a buffoon like Trump… she’s business as usual, will bow to the Chinese everytime if it lines her pockets.

      http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/07/why-chinese-elites-endorse-hillary-clinton/

      • The US is run on capitalist lines and what you call business may apply to many for we are all in the business of earning money. How would you like to live in China also now capitalist but along with that a dictatorship. The western democracies have many failings but freedom is still alive for those who live there. You must take care not to divide the world into a them and us humanity , we are all human and seek to climb the pyramid of wealth. Students go to college to better their lifestyles, professionals seek the high paid positions if they can make it . Unions try to better the conditions of their members and in France the Train drivers are in a battle with Macron , yet they retire at 52 on a good pension.
        Those who look at the higher levels of the pyramid wish to climb and they are glad they are not lower down.
        I’m 76 and below the poverty level in the UK yet in global terms my income puts me in the top 2%.

      • Dear 1EarthUnited,

        I know that you have a thing about HRC which I do not share and here’s why. The Russians, the Martians could have somehow given her foundation monies, but if they messed with US national security interests, she’d turn on them faster than a speeding bullet. This is why Russia didn’t back her.

        I have no doubt that she is not similar to President Trump in this character flaw. Her greed does not extend to compromising what is in the US best national security interests.

        Hugs, Gronda

        • Interesting you should mention about the Clintons and their role in US security interests. 😉

          Year of the Rat: How Bill Clinton Compromised U.S. Security for Chinese Cash

      • Dear 1EartgUnited,

        The only purchasers of the below book “Year of the Rat” are those from far right. Rest of the world have not given it any credence or review. I am included in this vast majority.

        Hugs, Gronda

        • Hi Gronda, of course you have a valid point. From preliminary reviews, I find the book topics quite compelling however. It’s also a NY Times bestseller, so apparently enough people are interested in the Clinton syndicate and their shady business dealings with international corporations and foreign governments. I’m not saying this book is the gospel truth, only that it provides food for thought regarding the leaders of our country, regardless of who’s in office. People of power and wealth usually have skeletons in the closet, in order to achieve the position that they are in, perfect example being our current president… oy vey!

    • Dear Kerstsen,

      You hit it on the nail. Dealing with a powerful autocratic society in business transactions can be a problem. I wish President Trump had not pulled out of TPP but instead had taken steps to improve it to include those who would be left behind otherwise. This is one way to have cut mitigate for China’s power.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. “China began censoring Winnie the Pooh, partly out of concern he looks like Chinese President Xi Jinping.“
    — LOL, really? Personally I think Winnie is an adorable cartoon bear, more than I can say for the Chinese President! 🙂

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      Personally, I don’t see the similarity in the Winnie the Poo Bear character and the Chinese leader President Xi Jinping. One is cute and lovable. Why are the Chinese picking on British cartoon characters?

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Ah the 19th Century boot is now finally on the other foot in the 21st Century.
    The grim wheel turns. Here come the New Imperialists. And the western ‘mandarins’ will be content with payments for their services.

    • Dear Roger,

      But Peppa Pig is a step too far. What is it with these guys who can’t leave cute, funny characters alone? Do they have too invent the bogeyman too?

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Within Chinese culture there is perceived a depth in writings beyond the seemingly straightforward words.
        During the reign of Emperor Yang (604-618) this seemingly innocuous verse appeared:
        “Peach-plum Li
        Be reserved in speech
        As a yellow heron, fly around the hill
        And turn about within the flower garden”
        (bearing in mind probably something lost in translation)
        This was seen as it was intended to a coded reference to a person named ‘Li’ having a claim to the emperorship. As a result Yang had potential rivals executed, irrespective of their own intentions.
        Thus, whereas we would just take a harmless figure as Peppa Pig for who they are, and maybe use the image from time to time to poke fun at someone in the public eye, within The Chinese culture such imagery can be seen as ‘dynamite’ by the authorities and conversely used by sensibly low-profile oppositions group as symbolic rallying points.
        This is how things are done in China.
        Our stance should be not to let these myriad internal nuances seep into our own culture, commerce and politics and start tip-toeing around it within our own borders.
        As the old saying goes:
        ‘Different world, man. Whole different world,’

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