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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Banned In China

The BBC have run a profile of a Chinese rock band who've been banned from the radio for criticizing the government.

How sad, we think. But we're not very surprised. We all know that the authoritarian Chinese regime doesn't respect human rights and civil liberties. Naturally they would want to a silence the free, peaceful voice of democratic youth in the form of rock music...

Except it turns out that the band are criticizing the Chinese government for being too nice:

"Taiwan is ours, Tibet is ours. Compromising with the United States and Japan is a disgrace".

"Our lyrics are aimed at our government," says Mr Liu. "It takes a very tough line towards its own people. But outside China it is very soft. When your people are being bullied by others, you should stand up for them. Right now they are being very soft."

I'm reminded of what happened in Algeria when an Islamist party won the first round of the democratic elections in 1991. The military promptly seized power, canceled the elections, and banned religious political parties. Military coups and authoritarianism are generally considered bad. But are they still bad when the people they're suppressing are extremists?

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