Keine Überraschung: die chinesisch-volksrepublikanische Regierung unterdrückt weiter freie Meinungsäußerungen. Die chinesische Version des China Development Brief, chinadevelopmentbrief.org.cn, muss wohl seine Pforten schließen. Beschuldigt werden die Betreiber des „illegalen“ Webangebots sowie der „Durchführung illegaler Umfragen“. Da soll wohl eine weitere Quelle für Nichtregierungsinformation stillgelegt werden (wenn auch die englischsprachige Version augenscheinlich nicht betroffen ist).
Das Time-Blog berichtet, dass der Betreiber Nick Young des Landes verwiesen werden könnte. Klingt recht fadenscheinig; die Öffnung gegenüber ausländischen Journalisten ist offenkundig nicht so gemeint wie es formuliert war:
Netzpolitik.org ist unabhängig, werbefrei und fast vollständig durch unsere Leserinnen und Leser finanziert.
Young says officials from Beijing’s municipal Public Security Bureau and the Statistical Bureau visited the China Development Brief’s offices on July 4. The Chinese-language edition was ordered closed for being „an illegal publication.“ Young, who edits the English-language edition, was accused of conducting „illegal surveys“ while collecting information for the publication. He faces possible deportation and a 5-year ban from China. „Any foreign person asking any Chinese person information is conducting unauthorized surveys,“ he says. „My interpretation is they are looking for a small, technical means to close us down.“ (Young agreed to talk about the closure after the news leaked in an email discussion group.)
Medienecho riefen unter anderem der offene Brief hervor, das ein faires Verfahren für den Umweltaktivisten Wu Li-hong (吴立红) fordert. Er war auf mehreren CDB-Webseiten veröffentlicht. Dabei war auch die Haltung der offiziellen Stellen uneinheitlich:
Chinese Internet authorities have ordered websites — including a Chinese language environmental NGO site operated by China Development Brief (www.greengo.cn) — to remove an open letter from twelve organisations calling for a fair trial for jailed environmental activist, Wu Lihong (吴立红).
Anomalously, the move came after China’s official media had already reported on the contents of the letter, which argued that “in order to support public confidence in the rule of law and build a harmonious society” Wu’s trial should be open to the public and based on lawfully obtained evidence.
Update 12.7.2007: Nick Young hat sich zu Wort gemeldet, Message from the Editor:
[…] I, as editor of the English language edition of China Development Brief, am deemed guilty of conducting “unauthorized surveys” in contravention of the 1983 Statistics Law, and have been ordered to desist. It was made perfectly clear to me that any report posted on this website (which is run off a UK server) would count as the output of an unauthorized survey.
I have since been interviewed by the police section responsible for supervising foreigners in China, and have sent them a personal statement explaining my situation.
This timing of this is unfortunate. I had decided a year ago that the time had come for me to leave China Development Brief, and we had worked out an ambitious localisation strategy for the English language publishing. I have always argued that it is important to get coherent, informed and independent Chinese voices into international debates about China—rather than those debates being dominated by Western voices that are often ill-informed and unsympathetic to the real difficulties of governing this huge and complicated country—and I hoped that China Development Brief could come to offer the world at large “the best in Chinese thinking on social development, in plain English.” We were about to appoint an expatriate transition Managing Editor with a mandate to develop a high-calibre team of Chinese writers who, at the end of two years, would assume formal ownership and editorial control. On July 3, the day before the police came, we received the last of the donor funding pledges that we needed, and were all set to proceed.
That project is now in grave peril, but I remain open to negotiation and discussion with the Chinese authorities.