For those of us whom it bothers, how do we fight back? Are we tilting a windmill of inevitability here? How do we defend the press freedoms of Hong Kong, encourage freedom and democracy for the people of China?
Some specific recommendations:
--Support organizations like the Hong Kong Journalists Association and World Press Freedom Committee and Freedom Forum others which stand up from freedom of the press.
--Pressure the People's Republic of China, at every chance, to follow international norms such as adherence to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, particularly Article 19 on Freedom of the Press.
--Encourage activities of dissidents at every turn, as they protest disruptions of press freedom. For example, a U.S. media group sent a letter to Chinese President Jiang Zemin in January, 1999, denouncing the jail sentence of a computer engineer on charges of using the Internet to undermine the state. Calling the two-year jail term for Lin Hai " chilling in the extreme," the Committee to Protect Journalists asked Jiang to intervene in the case. "By imprisoning Lin your regime sends the message that China is afraid of information and not strong enough to tolerate freedom," it said in a faxed statement received in Shanghai.
--Read the South China Morning Post Website (www.scmp.com) and write letters to the editor if you note weak coverage or kowtowing to Beijing or omissions. Look for any indications that the power struggle between the Tung ruling group and Xinhua News Agency is increasing; if it gets too serious it could spell the ouster of Tung, who is an enemy of press openness.
--Other areas which seem very normal but which China needs to get serious about are protection of intellectual property rights, copyrights and patents as well as a whole range of issues surrounding the rule of law and contracts. These all have a bearing on press freedom.