China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiao Ming was on the BBC earlier this month. He was asked several times about Chinese censorship of the Internet. And Liu kept dodging and weaving.
The reporter kept asking why China blocks Twitter, Facebook and other Western news sites. He asked about why China feels a need to control what is said and posted on the Internet.
And the regular answer: “Gee, I don’t know what you mean. Look at all the people who are on the Internet.”
Eventually Liu did say “It is up to the government to regulate these [internet] users, also in protection of the safety of the Internet to ensure that healthy content available and unhealthy content should be removed.”
As the Shanghaiist said, “Well there you have it. The government is only there to prevent unhealthy content from spreading, like Facebook, Twitter, and porn.”
Well, there is also protecting the party and party leaders from embarrassment. See: Ministry of Truth. Guess, that expands the definition of “unhealthy content” (But for all “Old China Hands” this is nothing new.)