Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hao Wu Update

From Free Hao Wu, Hao Wu's story has now been reported in a variety of mainstream news outlets, including Business Week and Reuters. The Business Week article ends on a note of optimism:
Will the public campaign to win Hao Wu's release work? The timing might be right. Chinese President Hu Jintao will soon be visiting the U.S., a trip that was supposed to take place last September but was put off because of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe. The Chinese government very much wants this visit to go well, so the leaders might decide that letting a lone blogger go free in the lead up to the summit might be an easy way to score some points.
Let's hope.

Still unclear are the reasons for Hao Wu's detention in the first place. The Reuter's piece quotes his sister Wu Na: "I don't think it is related to his filming of the underground Christians. I think it is related to the lawyer or being too open on his blog."

What goes several levels beyond irony here is that from Hao's own words, in comments on his blog, he did not believe that his blogging constituted a threat to the Chinese government's authority or put him in any personal jeopardy.
Regarding censorship - call me naive, but I don't think the police would bother any one who's not famous or about to attract some kind of attention. In addition, writing in English has very limited impact in what's happening in China, regardless whether I write in Beijing or New York.

So, the day the secret police comes to knock on my doors, I know I've got somewhere in my wretched life which otherwise would remained clouded by existential crises. :)
"The truth seems to be," he goes on to say, "that anything in China with an edge would be considered political. At the same time, I honestly don't think the government is bent on suppressing different voices anytime it finds one."

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