Taiwan Prez Slams Google and Yahoo
During an annual remembrance of a famous Taiwanese free speech activist, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian gave Google and Yahoo a proper smack over their cooperation with China.
“I again call on China’s Communist government and on multinationals that have sacrificed freedom of speech for corporate profits, including well known companies such as Yahoo and Google, to respect democracy and freedom, because it is the correct way to ensure continuous future development,” said Chen.
The ceremony was the 17th annual celebration of magazine publisher Cheng Nan-jung, a protestor who set himself on fire in 1989 as police tried to arrest him.
Both Google and Yahoo have come under criticism in the past year for bowing to the conditions set for them by the communist Chinese government. Google self-censored its web service to set up faster capabilities on servers within China, arguing that a limited access was better than substandard or no access.
Yahoo too, has been criticized for turning over email records that led to a 10-year prison term for a journalist. Yahoo said it didn’t know the nature of the crime being investigated and was only following Chinese law.
One might assume that President Chen’s words have more symbolic weight than teeth. His outrage against Google was conspicuously absent when Google announced the opening of a research and development center in Taiwan.