Wednesday, 23 February 2011

People's Daily Editor Li Hong Mei: "Chinese netizens are under educated and under paid"

In the latest of a long line of pronunciamentos from the pages of the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party which fails to do anything but shoot the Chinese people straight in the foot, Li Hongmei has released this bizarre editorial pooh-poohing the power of the internet:

"As of 2010, the Internet coverage rate in China has reached 34.3%, with approximately 457 million netizens, and more than 63 million micro-blogging users. Meanwhile a survey conducted nationwide also sheds light on a noteworthy phenomenon, that is, among the Chinese netizens, 76.7% of them have no higher learning background, and 83% get the monthly income under 2,000 yuan (US$305).

This indicates that the absolute number of Chinese netizens is gigantic, but if compared with China's large population of 1.3 billion, it is still a limited proportion. Also in light of the reality that the majority of the Chinese netizens are under educated and under paid, how much they can represent the Chinese "public opinions" must be highly dubious."

Strangely enough, I don't recall this kind of circumspection about the representative nature of internet commentary when was running its campaign accusing the foreign media of 'bias' back in 2008, which the state media just couldn't seem to get enough of. So what has sparked this change in attitudes? Perhaps this section sheds some light on that:

"Just give another thought to the case of Egypt, the Western media again never hesitate to cash in on the idea that the Egyptian uprising was Internet Revolution, and it was Twitter and Facebook that helped spur on international coverage of the events unfolding, which ultimately led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak. However, the West pays no heed to the true feeling of the ordinary Egyptians who actually have no access to computers, and pushed to streets by the few elites with some idea of reform enlightened by the Western-style democracy, and motivated to follow suit by the slogans and symbols which sound all alien to their knowledge.

Most of the Egyptians, in actuality, have no idea about what it should be like after Mubarak, nor can they imagine any change to be ushered in their banal life by ousting him."

Obviously Li Hongmei doesn't like the idea of an internet-driven revolution because it's not inclusive enough. Perhaps one arranged by a small clique of mainly foreign-educated and funded insurrectionists is more her sort of thing. Still n' all, something just ain't quite right about the idea of "Egyptians who actually have no access to computers" being "pushed to the streets" by internet commentary.


justrecently said...

Yeah, Li Hongmei - her rant struck me, too. I'm sure she's always been the best in her class, and will now determine the national curriculum of the future.

Gilman Grundy said...

But, of course, the people who expend gallons of ink (or the electronic equivalent thereof) protesting the supposed anti-China content of the film 127 Hours do not seem to fit to respond to The People's Daily calling Chinese netizens in general under-educated losers.