Saturday, January 23, 2010

Singapore’s Straits Times playing up the importance of Western influence

By China Watcher

It is not surprising to me anymore that a small nation state or a tiny blot in South East Asia is willing to go all the way to shoulder the US imperialist activities in this part of the region.

In a recent article published in its government controlled Straits Times, the writer tried to play up the importance of Google in the world. To him, Google is as powerful as a sovereign state. Huh! Really! Google is just another US company subjected to US laws and it a tool for the US to use in promoting its Western based style of freedom, cultures and brand of human rights.

Google has been trying to paint a negative light of China that it does not follow universal humanity rules. Most of the Chinese I met believe that Google is only trying to use its pullout as a leverage to negotiate for better censorship terms with the Chinese authorities. In the past weeks, China has stated very CLEARLY that any company who wants to operate in CHINA must RESPECT CHINESE LAWS. If that is not clear to the Western media, I would like to stress it one more time. FOREIGN COMPANIES MUST RESPECT CHINESE RULES. So why make a fuss out of it. If you do not want to play on that same set of rule, just get out, please don’t cry like a spoiled brat like Google. This is what I truly believe and there is not even a small piece of sympathy inside me for Google.

If Google is a defender of freedom and openness, why does it take them 3 years to do so? Why do they want to get into China in the first place? And what about succumbing to other countries censorship laws in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia? Western media did not play up this censorship issues in these countries but tend to highlight this when it comes to China. It is China bashing at its best and Western media has organized a concerted attack using this highly exaggerated issue. Most overseas Chinese and even local mainland Chinese is aware of this devious plan. I do not think Google is a genuine crusader but the writer would like its readers to believe him.

I tend to agree with Martin Jacques (the author of When China Rules The World) opinion that even a big company like Google cannot take on the Chinese government or for that matter, the Chinese people throughout the world and hope to win. Google will exit from the Chinese market and that will have an impact to its long term global ambitions. I would add that if a company cannot conquer the Chinese 1.3 billion market then it is not a global company and I wish to see Google as just that.

The writer did not mention that Google has failed to dominate the Internet search engine market. Baidu, a home grown company, has taken up 65% of the market consisting of 380 million online surfers. Other competitors are waiting earnestly in the wings to assume the vacuum in the event of a Google exit. There is no loss for the Chinese users.

China has already built up quite a fair bit of followers and its supporters since the Olympic Games and being the 3rd largest economy (to overtake Japan as the second largest in the next 2 years), China will continue to draw more support. The writer’s claim that China is hungry for international respect and recognition is highly debatable. China has invited the world’s leaders for the Olympic Games and the soon to be organized, World Expos in Shanghai and if the invitees do not turn up, there is no loss to China. What matters most is the ability to maintain its composure, pride and dignity of the Chinese people. The world’s overseas Chinese (except maybe some Singaporean and Hong Kong Chinese) is strongly supporting the Chinese government in its tiff with Google (which represent a Caucasian face). The important thing is that the Chinese should not sell its self governing right especially when a US based company is being strongly backed by a known superpower.

The writer said that the Chinese should regard Google as a significant player on the world stage and that it has the power to hurt like a nation state might. What a load of rubbish! The writer is clearly playing up to the tune of the West and is sulking up to Western influence. I like to state that GOOGLE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HURT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT, MORE SO THE CHINESE PEOPLE. The writer a Chinese descendent should be ashamed. He is selling his soul to the West for a piece of action or perhaps, under instructions from the Singapore government.

Singapore has always been pro-Western or more specifically pro-US and China should realize by now that its positive overtures to strengthen military ties with this small republic has been put on the shelf whereas the highly publicized military links with US and the Commonwealth nations will remain as the core defensive structure in this part of the world. On a comparison basis, China has already developed military ties with Thailand, Cambodia and Myammar. Indonesia and Malaysia have also positively responded to a military dialogue with China. Singapore is the only country in South East Asia that is pursuing a US centered military pact. It is only keen to advance trade and business ties with the growing superpower in Asia and nothing else. That I believe China should take note.

In the event of an outbreak of hostilities between the US and China, I do hope China would know who its strategic partners and genuine friends are while devising a military warfare to defend its people.

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