Last week, there were many criticisms about Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and other technology companies’ submission to the Chinese government’s request to censor the information on the Internet. It has become a public concern that these companies are doing business there at the peril of human rights.
As a native Chinese, I completely understand these concerns and critics. However, I have to agree that the presence of American companies in China provides much greater benefit to the Chinese people. It will help democracy in the long run.
For a country that has three-thousand years of history in feudalism, democracy is a gradual and long term process. It won’t happen overnight. It’s a matter of changing people’s hearts and mindsets rather than changing the government and system.
Economic progress, technology advancement, and globalization are all part of this process. The State Department’s proposal to form a “Global Internet Freedom” task force to address censorship issues at the international level is one step closer toward that end.
I believe democracy in China as well as in other parts of the world is not only imminent, but also inevitable.