Tag Archives: Chen Min

Southern Weekend: “Managing the Internet Using Laws: Praiseworthy!”

The following is a translation of an opinion piece by Chen Min from Southern Weekend.


“As long as a post does not violate national laws, we won’t delete it. As long as it’s reasonable, we will respond quickly and accept it,” said an officer of the Beijing PSB responsible for explaining police standards for their new microblog to the media.

That an official microblog, especially one of such a powerful organ [of state power] could show such respect for [free] speech, respect for netizens, and not use any standards beyond the standard of whether or not something is legal, not using the judgements of the people involved as censorship standards — as long as it doesn’t violate a law, no post can be deleted, regardless of whether it offends an involved party or department — what an exciting boundary that is!

However, I’m more interested in seeing this as a solemn promise from the Beijing PSB; it’s not something that’s currently true. Of course, even if it’s just a promise it’s worth being excited about. At least it indicates a direction, and any movement away from that direction in the future will be a violation of popular sentiment. Aside from [making] laws that accurately reflect the popular will, we shouldn’t make wild statements about [free] internet discourse. We much first firmly establish belief in the concept and a fundamental consensus. The Beijing PSB’s solemn promise looks like the first step towards reaching this kind of consensus.

Additionally, it shows how to effectively supervise, mutually encourage, and moves the government and the people hand-in-hand towards in a mutually-agreed-upon direction.