RSS
What the Chinese public is saying about Edward Snowden
The Chinese seem mostly sympathetic to the NSA leaker
News and discussion of Edward Snowden is near impossible to avoid in Hong Kong.
News and discussion of Edward Snowden is near impossible to avoid in Hong Kong. BOBBY YIP/Reuters/Corbis

By now you know what the White House, intelligence officials and political commentators think about Edward Snowden, the computer guy who stole secret U.S. documents and gave some of them to Chinese authorities. The Chinese media have been having what one report called a "field day" with the scandal while keeping the issue in the eye of the Chinese public.

But what are the Chinese people saying about the scandal? The country has been engaging in a rigorous online discussion of Snowden through social media Sina Weibo and Baidu forums.

Fortunately for The Fiscal Times, our Audience Development Manager, Mi Li, speaks Chinese and was able to translate a number of interesting comments. She mined the social networks and reviewed comments left by Chinese citizens in an effort to gauge public sentiment toward Snowden. What she found was a Chinese public largely sympathetic to Snowden and angry at the United States for snooping into the vast Chinese cyber world.

Below is a sampling of the most enlightening comments.

• PRISM empowered the U.S. government to monitor the communications of any foreigner without seeking the consent. This is the real problem. The U.S. national security and civil freedom are superior to any other country's national security and the freedom of correspondence of citizens of other countries?

• PRISM exposure unveiled the real reasons why America banned Huawei and ZTE to enter the U.S. market. It's because the U.S. network operators need to open the back doors for U.S. government to monitor the users. It's really "thief shouting thief."

• If a country itself is illegal, such as the violation of the Constitution, and then it goes to announce a person's offense, it is not reasonable. The Constitution forms the rules and spirit of the country. "Fighting against terrorism" and "respecting founding spirit." Which is more important on the scale? If Americans do a little compromise of everything in the foundation of the country, this country is predicted to be in decline.

• According to BBC polls, among interviewed 509 people in Hong Kong, 49.9 percent "disagree" or "strongly disagree" with the extradition of PRISM leaker Snowden to the United States. 33 percent of respondents consider Snowden as a hero. Snowdon is a hero. Exposing government wrong decisions makes him a hero!

• If China agreed to the extradition, in the future the United States must also agree to the extradition of similar Chinese characters. Will that be possible?

• Chinese government has not taken a stand on this case now. That's very wise. Chinese government's calm attitude explains: First, Snowden leaking case has nothing to do with China; second, the Chinese government does not want to participate and affect the new relations built after Xi and Obama's meeting; third, the Chinese government fully respect the Hong Kong people and trust their laws will make a fair judgment.

• Snowden is neither a trump card nor a hot potato for China because of his disclosure and escape. However, his revealing of U.S. hacking help China from the side. It confirmed the U.S. is the greatest threat to network security.

• A few years ago, Google accused the Chinese government of monitoring it, and vowing to withdraw from the Chinese market. Now as the "defector to Hong Kong" Snowden disclosed, the U.S. government has been obtaining user data from companies like Google. Google has long advocated "Do not be evil." Isn't this evil?

• June 6, Google executive chairman Schmidt said Google will not return to the Chinese market because they cannot stand the monitor of their users. June 9, Snowden incident came to light and showed that Google had handed over American citizens' private information to the FBI. Google cannot accept China's control, but can tolerate the "rape" in the United States.

• America has taken big efforts on information theft of China. For a long time, the U.S. intelligence agencies used spy satellites, scout airplanes, and control electronic ships to form a "360-degree no dead" net detection system to China. The U.S. government is extremely shameless!

• PRISM is a plan by the U.S. National Security Agency since 2007 for top-secret electronic eavesdropping programs. The revealing of PRISM plan let the world see the ugly face of U.S. imperialism! Snowden disclosed the fact to the world that Chinese networks were monitored by the United States! Chinese people need to wake up and rise to action!

• The U.S. mainstream media have these evaluations regarding the PRISM leaker Snowden. Huffington Post: a traitor or a hero? New York Times: A lonely leaker; New Yorker: He is not a hero; Washington Post: Snowden's arrogance; Los Angeles Times: Washington's hidden secret; USA Today: Snowden is a criminal. If Snowden is a Chinese defector to the United States, what the U.S. mainstream media headlines would be?

• Americans have always stressed the "super-sovereign" ideology? But why the people in congress and senate jumped on Snowden and accused him of treason? The American politician's hypocrisy, selfishness, deceit are exposed in this event.

• Snowden case is indeed a pot of cold water awakening everyone. U.S. government might be a gentleman to domestic people, but an absolutely riffraff to foreign countries. This is not a moral judgment, but worthy of the Chinese to seriously learn. The fear is to do in an opposite way: Being a riffraff internally while a gentleman externally.

• The United States is investigating Snowden's relations with China and whether he was coerced, bribed or used by Chinese Communist? Why the news was broken in the evening of Xi-Obama meeting? Why did he hide in Hong Kong? Those antispyware seem to objectively discredit Snowden while reducing the harm of PRISM to the United States. However, some Chinese suspect is Snowden is a spy that CIA used to break into China.

More from The Fiscal Times...

* NSA data-mining raises eyebrows among U.S. allies

* Why Americans should root for a strong Chinese economy

* 6 ways to avoid an economic implosion in China

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week