May 1, 2006 · Tim Wu
Today I’m scheduled to meet with Dr. Xiong Chengyu, who is one of the personal advisors to Chinese President Hu Jintao for internet & media issues. He is in town to meet with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, among other things.
Here’s what I’m curious to hear about: What Dr. Xiong thinks China’s internet policy is; or what function, exactly the internet does or should play in Chinese society.
In the West, the typical role of a communications infrastructure is spoken of, at an ideal, something that leads to more self-expression, happier people, and more involvement in the nation’s governance. Failing that, it ought at least entertain people and make the country richer.
Observers, myself and our book included, make guesses as to what China’s government sees as the function of the internet in Chinese society. Not all have been, exactly, flattering.
But I am very curious to hear what is said directly, and I’ll let you know what I learn.