Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, has enraged Chinese freedom activists after he had told in a recent statement that he recommended his colleagues to read “The Governance of China” written by China’s President Xi Jinping in order to better understand the “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.
“The Governance of China” is a 500 page tome published in September in 9 languages containing Jinping’s speeches on the future of China and Chinese Communism. Xi Jinping, 61, aka Big Daddy Xi, is China’s most notable leader since Mao.
Zuckerberg’s scandal in China started when a government-run news-website published a photograph of him in his office with a copy of “The Governance of China”. The photo was taken during Lu Wei’s short visit at Facebook headquarters, California. Lu Wei is the one who censors the Internet in his country and chooses what over 600 million of Chinese people can view or not on-line. Facebook was banned in China in 2009.
“I’ve also bought copies of this book for my colleagues. I want them to understand socialism with Chinese characteristics,”
Zuckerberg told Lu about Jinping’s book.
News-agencies reported this event was just a small part of Zuckerberg’s bigger plan of a free Facebook in China.
In October, he impressed his Chinese hosts at the Tsinghua University, Beijing, by delivering a 30 minute Q-A session in fluent Mandarin. The internet mogul told students that, although Chinese was hard, he liked a challenge.
Hu Jia, one of China’s most vocal dissidents, said that he and his colleagues fighting for freedom in China were disappointed and angered by Zuckerberg’s performance on Monday. Mr Jia said that Facebook founder was brown-nosing a government that disrespects its citizen’s basic rights and retaliates on everyone who opposes it.
“Zuckerberg is an internet genius, the founder of the Facebook empire. Yet his understanding of Chinese politics is like that of a three-year-old not a 30-year-old. He is like a Red Guard waving the White Book now. He knows nothing about Xi, nothing about China, even though he is studying Chinese,”
Mr Hu bitterly said.
Hu Jia is a freedom activist from Beijing who has been repeatedly sentenced to house arrest for disagreeing with the Chinese Communist Party.
Zhou Xiaozheng, Chinese expert in social sciences, said that Zuckerberg knew nothing about what was really going on in China, such as the fact that the government spied on and imprisoned many of its citizens just because they dared to express their point of view online.
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