China minimizes Google

Chinese efforts will be needed to change government censorship.

Last week Google announced it would no longer censor search results in China after clashing with the country since January. Google began redirecting mainland Chinese users to its Hong Kong site, where officials generally have not helped China censor Web-search results. As an organization founded on the protections of the First Amendment, The Minnesota Daily believes in the freedom of speech and is an advocate against censorship. However, standing up for these rights has become almost expected in the United States. Living in a nation where these ideals are highly respected can make it difficult to understand China. While many Americans find themselves outraged at ChinaâÄôs censorship efforts, a 27-year-old Chinese software engineer told The New York Times this of the Google situation: âÄúI heard that Google is leaving China. But I donâÄôt care. Why should I? IâÄôm fine with Baidu.âÄù Baidu, ChinaâÄôs other search engine, continues to censor its results. Most Chinese nationals met the Google news with nonchalance, though a few freedom-lovers left flowers at GoogleâÄôs China headquarters. Back in the United States, however, highly ranked government officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are speaking out against ChinaâÄôs censorship. But is it AmericaâÄôs place to influence this practice in China? Perhaps, like our involvement in many international issues, the United States hoped that through companies like Google, we may be able to export our ideas of free speech and open access to information to China. Ultimately, communicative freedom must be demanded by the Chinese people themselves. That is, after all, how America established its own First Amendment rights.