“Let’s Be China For a Day!”

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 25, 2011

Thomas Friedman has a fetish, to be sure, but being China for a day is not all sweetness and light:

No talking, no tweeting and no travel for a year — these are some of the conditions of Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s release from more than two months in detention, underscoring Beijing’s efforts to muzzle dissent.

The comprehensive gag on Ai, who is not allowed to post anything on Twitter or accept interviews for a year, raises questions about the Chinese government’s repeated claims that his detention was based on economic crimes.

“The key thing is these two conditions — the media and the Internet,” a source close to the family told Reuters on Friday.

Ai has freedom of movement within Beijing, but before he “goes out, he needs to report his whereabouts to them” for a year, the source said, but declined to elaborate who Ai needs to report to.

To be fair to Friedman, it is beginning to dawn on him that being China for a day entails embracing a great deal of tyranny. But to this day, Friedman has not seen fit to apologize for effectively endorsing repression on a mass, and appalling scale.

Telling, that.

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