A US based website is posting accurate and comprehensive information about the Bo Xilai scandal which is hindering China’s censors who are desperately trying to stop the incident from triggering wider questions about other high level abuses of power.
The Financial Times reports that: “Since Bo Xilai was ousted as Chongqing Communist party secretary last month, Chinese censors have gone into overdrive to prevent the drama from ballooning into a public debate about corruption and power struggles within the party.
But their efforts are being undone by Watson Meng, the creator of the Boxun webite. From his home in Durham, North Carolina, he has been picking through information handed to him about the case by email, in Chinese internet chat rooms and sometimes over the phone.
He has then been posting it for all to see. This is online information sharing at its best. Not only did netizens provided key impetus to the investigation but now they are moving things forward towards a much needed public debate about China’s widespread corruption.
There is little question that the party hierarchy fear public exposure of the many and varied dealings that have left some Chinese mega wealthy while the majority of its citizens are destitute.
Some will say that corruption cannot be driven out overnight and to do so would risk social upheaval, international embarrassment or even violence. Others are simply happy with the status quo because they are d0ing very well under the current system.
But as the information leaks out and websites like Boxun show it does, then these fears are going to be realized one way or another. It would be better to encourage public debate and make a real effort at dealing with corruption. That is the only way to defuse social tensions.
Having the censors screw the safety valve down on the social pressure cooker a few more notches simply means when the explosion comes it is going to be worse than they imagined.