China’s Micro Repression of Speech Freedom
Chinese blogger Zhang Jialong revealed in a blog post that he was terminated from his job at a Chinese internet company after a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in February.
Mr. Jialong said in his post that he was informed this week that he was fired for alleged disclosure of business secrets and sensitive information.
The young blogger was invited by the United States Embassy to meet with Mr. Kerry during his China trip. Mr. Jialong met with the secretary and he was noted to be frank in his disapproval of China’s strict controls on online censorhip.
US State Department Reacts To Reported Arrest
The State Department expressed deep concern over reports that the blogger, who met with the Secretary, was fired from his job after meeting with Secretary Kerry and publicly expressed his views.
“If the reports are true, we would be very troubled that a private company employee would be fired for expressing his or her views.” – Secretary Kerry
The Department expressed concern on the continuing crackdown on freedom of speech and expression on the Internet and by the detention and prosecution of bloggers in China.
In addition, the US urged Chinese authorities to guarantee all Chinese citizens the rights of free expression, association, religion, and peaceful assembly.
China’s Restrictions On Freedom Of Speech
China has a long history of severely restricting freedom of speech and expression on its citizens. Even with the blossoming internet use, China continues to curtail internet freedom. The communist country also restricts free assembly and worship. The crackdown on Tibetan protesters is an evident manifestation of suppression of freedom of assembly. Even journalists and common citizens are arrested for expressing their criticisms on strict censorship policies related to internet use.