Google Gives Cover to Trump’s Lies


If one of the most powerful tech companies can’t call out the president’s dishonesty, who can?

By Greg Bensinger

Mr. Bensinger is a member of the editorial board.

March 21, 2020

President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been a case study in a management style marked by falsehoods and intimidation. Rather than risk inviting his ire, subordinates and fellow Republicans covered for him as he delayed a coordinated response to the coronavirus and it felled nearly 200 Americans.

His political allies haven’t been the only ones to fall into line. Just look at the way the president co-opted Google.

While declaring the national emergency last Friday, President Trump announced that he had enlisted Google to create a broadly available website to help facilitate testing for the virus. He said that 1,700 engineers were working on the site and had “made tremendous progress.”

It sounded ambitious and promising. If only it were true.

What followed were attempts by Google to placate the president and a mad scramble to get done what he’d said it was already doing.

Blindsided by the announcement, Google at first revealed that a subsidiary of its parent company known as Verily was working on a small-scale website initially intended only for health care workers in two Bay Area counties. The Verily site was being developed in coordination with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who was taken with the idea after speaking with Verily’s chief executive, Andy Conrad, The New York Times reported. (It rolled out on Sunday but was immediately overwhelmed by people seeking testing.)

But then Google pivoted and announced it was in fact also working on a new national informational coronavirus website. The saga could have ended there, but Mr. Trump instead lambasted the press for correctly reporting that Google initially had no plans for the website he described. And Google did nothing to correct the record, making itself complicit in his stoking of press mistrust.

Mr. Trump asserted on Sunday that Google’s national site was always the plan, while doubling down on his attack, saying, “I don’t know where the press got their fake news, but they got it someplace.” And he said Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google-parent Alphabet, called to apologize, though he didn’t clarify what he meant by that.

Alphabet refused to confirm to The Times whether such a call even occurred or for what Mr. Pichai would need to apologize. And it declined to discuss the episode further.

It’s not the first time a technology company has bent to Mr. Trump’s will. Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, failed to correct Mr. Trump when he took credit in November for opening a Texas computer manufacturing plant that had been in operation since 2013.

Source: The New York Times “Google Gives Cover to Trump’s Lies”

Note: This is The New York Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Western Media Making up Fake News about China


Western media are full of fake news about China. A typical example is their fake reports about debt trap concerning the lease of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port, which China has not said much to refute as China focuses on doing its own jobs well and it was a business transaction between a Chinese company and some Sri Lankan companies instead of between governments.

Perhaps as China does not care much about refuting fake news, some Western media has become entirely blatant in making up fake news.

UK’s Star News claims in its report “Rumours swirl after President Xi Jinping disappears as coronavirus rapidly spreads” on February 6 that Chinese “President hasn’t been seen in public in several days and missed his regular media appearances” but Xi appeared on CCTV on February 5 in a footage about his meeting with visiting Cambodian Prime Minister (http://tv.cctv.com/2020/02/05/VIDEge94cLKcARoeizjw2i7w200205.shtml?spm=C31267.PFsKSaKh6QQC.S71105.4)

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Star Daily’s report, full text of which can be viewed at

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/rumours-swirl-after-president-xi-21445247


Australian Reporter’s Gang-of-Four Skill in Making up Fake News


Australian ASPI’s report “What satellite imagery reveals about Xinjiang’s ‘re-education’ camps and coerced labour” reminds me of the fake news by Gang-of-Four reporters during China’s Cultural Revolution. The report shows the extraordinary skill of making fake news that I thought only the Gang of Four was so impudent to make.

The title of the report makes readers believe that the satellite photos show that there are “re-education camp” that coerces people to work for a factory.

In fact the photos only show some buildings that emerged along with those of the factories and some buses that may be used to send people from the buildings to the factory.

So What? It is common for a factory to build dormitories nearby for its workers and have buses to send them to and from the factory. Can some buildings near a factory prove those buildings are used to detain people. The buildings in the photos look utterly unlike a detention center.

There are no people in any of the photos to prove people are held there in custody or sent to the factory for coerced labor.

As the photos do not reveal anything claimed in the report, the writer of the report knowingly uses the term of “potentially” in conclusion. For Gang-of-Four writers, everything they wrote could “potentially” be true so that innocent Chinese President Liu Shaoqi could be accused as a traitor and persecuted to death for that.

By the way, have any Gang-of-Four writers immigrated to Australia?

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on ASPI’s report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/what-satellite-imagery-reveals-about-xinjiangs-re-education-camps-and-coerced-labour/.


Xi Jinping’s Education on Democracy


Rights are indispensably accompanied with duties
Another goal of Xi Jinping’s mass line education practice campaign is that he wants to guide the masses of the people to perform their duties of supervision in more actively exposing malpractices, making criticism and putting forward suggestions. In pursuing democracy, particular stress is often laid on people’s rights but their duties were often neglected.

Xi Jinping is wise in advocating that the education campaign will not only grant people the rights of democratic supervision but also teach people to perform their duties of supervision. If in spite of the democratic rights of supervision people have, people have no sense of responsibility to exercise their democratic rights or turn a blind eye to the corruption they personally see, what is the use to have their rights? Corruption, the despotism that turns CCP into people’s enemy and the four malpractices would remain unrestricted.

It reminds me of China’s feminist forerunner and heroic democratic fighter Ms. Qiu Jing. When she mobilized women to fight for equal rights, she said that women had to perform equal duties if they wanted equal rights. She personally set an example for them. She died bravely for China’s democratic revolution along with male revolutionaries.

Western Democracy Declines due to People’s Neglect of Duties
In the course of overthrowing autocracy and striving for democracy, priority certainly has to be placed on people’s democratic rights. However, as soon as democracy has been established, people shall be taught to be aware that they have democratic duties as well as democratic rights. The prosperity of a democracy is the result of people not only exercising their democratic rights but also performing their democratic duties. Otherwise, there will be the Diet Coke culture mentioned by Latin American international political expert Moises Naim in his book The End of Power. Just as people want sweetness without calories, they want rights without responsibilities, benefits without costs, consumption without savings and a safety net, infrastructure and quality education without taxes.

For a time, some Western democracies were in economical difficulties precisely due to the pursuit of such a democracy.

Perhaps due to one-sided stress on rights, in a Western democracy, people vote for their interests instead of out of their duties for their country. As people’s interests vary, in quite a few democracies, no party can win a majority in parliament so that a major party has to cooperate with one or two minor parties in forming a government, resulting in difficulties in reaching consensus even in the ruling cabinet. A Western democracy is usually a split democracy due to various differences in people’s interests.

Chinese Democracy Excels in Stressing Both Rights and Duties
In China’s socialist democracy, both people’s rights and duties are stressed. As people have the same sense of duties, there is unity in the nation. People are making united efforts in achieving their common goal to realize their China dream of the grand rejuvenation of their motherland.

It is generally accepted that Western democracy is declining. US great efforts for regime changes by whatever means have failed to spread its democracy. China’s socialist democracy, however, is rising. China has lifted most people out of poverty and set a target to eliminate poverty by 2021. It provides medical, retirement and unemployment insurance for almost every citizen and has built lots of subsidized housing for those who cannot afford it on their own.

Western media and politicians are fond of describing China as an autocracy, but china, in fact, is a democracy, a better democracy than Western democracy. Chinese people have full freedom of speech to criticize the government. For example, Bloomberg’s report “China’s Slowdown Is Fraying Nerves” describes Chinese netizens’ brutal commentaries on a government call to improve the ethics and conduct of the Chinese scientific community. There is a clause in the call that asks affluent developed regions not to use big compensation packages and bidding wars to recruit talent, especially from China’s Rust Belt.

As a call to improve ethics, it certainly is not “prohibiting affluent developed regions from using big compensation packages and bidding wars to recruit talent, especially from China’s Rust Belt” as Bloomberg tries to make readers believe. However, netizens’ brutal commentaries on the Internet as reported by Bloomberg precisely proved that Chinese people have the freedom of speech to criticize the government.

Bloomberg may be censored as it published fake news on the basis of netizens’ commentaries, which were general opposition in order to advocate market economy and freedom of employment in disregard of residence. The government call does not oppose market economy or such freedom. It only gives the advice to improve ethics and keep some talents in less-developed areas.

Normally, China’s slowdown may fret some nerves but netizens’ opposition to the call has nothing to do with that. The report with such a title shows Bloomberg’s intention to mislead readers with false information. Moreover, netizens’ commentaries by no means reflect skilled workers anxiety as described in the first sentence of the report, i.e. “A social media uproar over an obscure government decree shows how anxious the country’s most skilled workers are.”

On the contrary, the government’s call reflects the keen competition among various areas in China for talent. It precisely proves that various areas in China are switching to innovation- and creation-led economic growth so that there is a great demand for talent. Such talent refers to scientists, engineers and technicians instead of skilled workers. Bloomberg’s reporters certainly know that there is no need for “big compensation packages and bidding wars to recruit” skilled workers.

The report shows that in order to mislead readers with false information, Bloomberg’s reporters even forget their common sense.

To prevent Chinese people from being misled by such false information China certainly shall tighten its censorship. Bloomberg is unhappy about that, but it can do nothing except keeping on demonizing China.

Article by Chan Kai Yee