Google Faces Free Speech Resolution

Via Slashdot, news comes today that Google’s next shareholders meeting will feature a vote on a shareholder resolution to protect free speech and combat censorship by intrusive governments. According to the proxy statement, Proposal Number 5 would require the recognition of “minimum standards,” including, that “the company will use all legal means to resist demands for censorship. Continue Reading...

Christianity and Communism in China

Kishore Jayabalan reported yesterday on the latest happenings with the Acton Institute’s office in Rome and the most recent installment of the Centesimus Annus Conference Series, “The Religious Dimension of Human Freedom.” As Kishore notes, the conference took place within the context of the spate of media attention to the religious situation in China, especially with reference to the relations between Beijing and the Vatican. Continue Reading...

‘Great Firewall’ Not Great Enough

According to published reports, China is planning on adding new censorship regulations covering blogs and webcasts (HT). President Hu Jintao says the government needs to take these steps to “purify” the Internet, leading to “a more healthy and active Internet environment,” according to the Xinhua news agency. Continue Reading...

Creating Equality by Consolidating Power

Can you find the tension in the lead sentence from this WSJ story on the annual Communist Party meeting in China? Here it is: “China’s ruling communist elite opened an annual meeting that will focus on policies for spreading the nation’s newfound prosperity more evenly and on President Hu Jintao’s attempts to further consolidate his power.” It still amazes me that so many people still think that centralizing political power is both an effective way to spread out wealth and one that is therefore socially desirable. Continue Reading...

China, Christianity, and the Rule of Law

Earlier this month Forum 18 published an article that examined whether the establishment of a law regarding religion at a national level would be a positive step toward ending the sometimes arbitrary and uneven treatment of religious freedom issues throughout the country. Continue Reading...

Moral Business

Profit is a valid motivation for business and, generally speaking, a company that pursues profits within the bounds of law and morality will be fulfilling its purpose admirably. But profit is an instrumental good rather than a final good, and so there are sometimes extraordinary circumstances that place additional moral obligations on business. Continue Reading...

China-Taiwan Trade Spike

Tension between China and Taiwan is one of the more troubling matters in geopolitical affairs. Now AsiaNews reports that trade between China and Taiwas increased by 15 percent in the first half of 2006. Continue Reading...

China: The Economics of Religious Freedom

Here’s a summary of a piece over at Forum 18: Economics has a large effect on China’s religious freedom, Forum 18 News Service notes. Factors such as the need of religious communities for non-state income, significant regional wealth disparities, conflicts over economic interests, and artificially-induced dependence on the state income all provide the state with alternative ways of exercising control over religious communities. Continue Reading...

Religious Freedom in China

Do economic, political, and religious freedom go together? Rodney Stark, writing in his recent book The Victory of Reason, says that “It seems doubtful than an effective modern economy can be created without adopting capitalism, as was demonstrated by the failure of the command economies of the Soviet Union and China.” He also writes, There are many reasons people embrace Christianity, including its capacity to sustain a deeply emotional and existentially satisfying faith. Continue Reading...