China's state secrets

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Frank Ching, a veteran foreign correspondent working in China, comments on China's baby steps toward relaxing its extraordinary secrecy about all sorts of data. Essentially, anything not published in the state—sanctioned press is deemed a state secret.

Chinese authorities seem to be gaining a glimmer of understanding of the costs for themselves of this secrecy. They have loosened up secrecy over the death toll of in natural disasters, data which formerly was kept secret on the assumption it would make the regime look weak or ineffective.

The good news is that China is seeing some benefit to a more open communications policy. The bad news is that there is such a long, long way to go.

Hat tip: Brian Schwarz

Thomas Lifson  10 04 05

Frank Ching, a veteran foreign correspondent working in China, comments on China's baby steps toward relaxing its extraordinary secrecy about all sorts of data. Essentially, anything not published in the state—sanctioned press is deemed a state secret.

Chinese authorities seem to be gaining a glimmer of understanding of the costs for themselves of this secrecy. They have loosened up secrecy over the death toll of in natural disasters, data which formerly was kept secret on the assumption it would make the regime look weak or ineffective.

The good news is that China is seeing some benefit to a more open communications policy. The bad news is that there is such a long, long way to go.

Hat tip: Brian Schwarz

Thomas Lifson  10 04 05