Yin, yang, net


Poynter Institute commentator Fons Tuinstra, who is based in Shanghai, spotted a People’s Daily editorial that declared it is an issue “worth studying” how “the Internet has deeply changed the political environment in China . . . (forcing) . . . Chinese leaders to adapt.”


The editorial in People’s Daily, a semi-official organ of the Chinese government, reflected on the yin and yang of Internet politics:


“More and more officials are becoming accustomed to listening to public opinion . . . accepting rational comments and suggestions . . . A lot of officials even open their own blogs . . . . (But) Internet politics is a fairly new concept . . . it has its shortcomings. For example, false news and rumors can spread quickly throughout the Internet. It can also disturb the normal order with overly emotional opinions.”

How true. The Internet is such a disruption. I don’t how we’ll deal with it in the West which has a tradition of openness. How will it change China, which passed from emperors to commissars with hardly a free breath in between is a question worth studying, indeed.