During the past couple days some China Blog readers have offered a few suggestions. We always love to hear these, though I can’t promise we’ll go along with them. For instance, a regular commenter who goes by the handle “perseverance” suggests we add some posts in Chinese, which would be “an unusual publicity stunt.” I’m afraid that it might not be much more than that. We’re doing our best to blog (and write for the magazine and time.com) in a language we’ve got a pretty good handle on; Mandarin would be a little much both for us and for the majority of readers. That said, the folks at the environmental site China Dialogue do an amazing job of putting everything from posts to reader comments up in Chinese and English. Check them out.
Another reader, Leed, asks if we can kick a commenter out of the blog. Sorry, we don’t do that. On rare occasions we take down comments that use profanity or are completely off topic, but we try to be very sparing about that. Since this blog began in January I’ve removed one comment, and that was for use of profanity. I try to err on the side of free speech. Commenter ChinaBiz expressed the sentiment well:
Ban which idea? Which point of view should be struck down? Which participant should be banished from this forum of open ideas and discussion?
This is exactly what China needs. A truly open forum to discuss ideas and express opinions. The right of free speech demands that all sides are able to voice their opinions.
To understand the position of an adversary is required if you are to win him over, or defeat him. All who visit here are free to come and go, comment or not, accept or reject any opinions presented.
But, thankfully, none has the right to pick and choose who may be heard or what ideas are worthy of consideration.