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China: You Won't Get The Truth

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Today, August 8, 2007, we are one year away from the opening of the Summer Olympics 2008 in Beijing, China.

America will be greatly influenced by the National Broadcasting Sytem’s reports, promos and advertisements about the Olympics and China, to say nothing about the activities and reports surrounding the Games themselves.

What China does not want westerners to see or hear is any negative reporting about China. The issue of Human Rights, for example, is not allowed on any agenda.

Just remember: NBC has no obligation to say anything but that which is self-serving. And, because millions of dollars are at stake and China can shut down any media outlet at any time because there is no freedom of the press in China, you’ll see scores of reports from NBC that resemble the sucking-up one generally finds only among teenage male suitors. China is more than NBC’s bride and prize in this money making affair: China is the Golden Goose.

The essay below, published in today’s Washington Times, is my singular effort to provide some balance and perspective on China and that massive country’s government and culture of corruption.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 8, 2007

China: Less Than the Whole Truth
By John E. Carey
The Washington Times
August 8, 2007

With a public relations scandal involving food and other product safety looming if not already roiling for China on June 12, 2007, the Vice Minister for the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in China said, “We can guarantee food safety.”

Starting in December 2006, news media had reported to the world on tainted (poisonous) products manufactured and exported from China. China denied the allegations but a steady “drip, drip, drip” of news revealed tainted pet foods, seafood, toothpaste, medical supplies, children’s custard and even children’s toys painted with lead based paint.

But, by still claiming that food products from China were completely safe last June, China in fact demonstrated that it “didn’t get it.” China doesn’t know what almost every experienced American movie star, politician and prominent sports figure knows or will soon hear about as soon as a scandal breaks: come clean.

On August 4, 2007, the official China news agency Xinhua quoted the deputy head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Hui Lusheng, as saying “Dealing with and preventing food safety risks is a long-term, arduous and complicated project.” Finally, a probably reliable admission from China.

Why does China “not get it”? Why, when a crisis or scandal breaks, does China at first issue a denial and only reverse course once the mess is a firestorm?

First, China does not have a fully free and open media. During many scandals, especially largely internal scandals, China gets away without telling the truth or suffering consequences.

The second reason many believe that China generally denies the truth to escape responsibility and public scorn is more complicated, cultural and deeply rooted in the communist system.

Because China and other communist countries have no free and open elections, the communist party and its officials stay in power using a system of coercion, force and putting down public unhappiness – sometimes ruthlessly and violently.

Public confidence among the Chinese in their government is not widespread. Public obedience from the countryside to edicts from Beijing are often ignored.

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John E. Carey is the former president of International Defense Consultants, Inc.
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