Skip to main content

tv   The Stream 2020 Ep 25  Al Jazeera  February 18, 2020 11:32am-12:01pm +03

11:32 am
or have agreed to reduce violence over a week and it's back to lead to a permanent peace deal that would see u.s. troops pull out of afghanistan the u.n. says nearly 900000 civilians have fled fighting a northwestern syria since the beginning of december and warns the humanitarian crisis is reach what it calls a horrifying new level that comes after syria's president bashar al assad said the country had achieved victory but the fight wasn't over a syrian government offensive to retake the last rebel held areas has created the single biggest civilian displacement during the 9 year war those are the headlines keep it here on al-jazeera another bulletin is coming up in the meantime we're going to hand it over to the strain. from. there oh we talk about 2 of the biggest problems facing and they all the endemic corruption. we listen so if you really put placed on as editor with and that's really that we meet
11:33 am
with global news makers and talk about the stories that. just 0. i am josh rushing filling in for the irreplaceable family ok china is finding what its government calls up people's war against the deadly coronavirus but it's also battling to diffuse public anger over its handling of the crisis is china putting party before the people said your thoughts through twitter and you tube and you too could be in this trade. the corona virus spreading across china has now taken 1800 lives but it's cases mount chinese authorities are scrambling to address criticism that they should have been more open about the crisis on saturday the chinese government took the rare step of revealing that president. but
11:34 am
a meeting about the virus with the highest members of the communist party on january 7th it shows that she was aware of the virus sweeping will happen nearly 2 weeks before he publicly acknowledged it. earlier this month thousands of people took to chinese social media to mourn dr levy lindley egg who died from the virus li was reprimanded by police in january for spreading so-called rumors about the merging outbreak in who bay province yet those social media post many with the hash tag we want freedom of speech were wiped by government censors for more on how china is mediating this unprecedented health crisis we're joined from new york by william young he's a journalist who covers the greater china region also in new york we have to go to china researcher at human rights watch and from edinburgh we are joined by maria nikolaevna she's
11:35 am
a scholar of chinese political communications and is an assistant professor at georgia state university hello everyone i want to begin by talking to you william catch us up over the weekend it seems to me that pressure is starting to mao in the international press with the criticism being pointed more specifically at president xi is that a fair assessment and if so do you think he's starting to feel the heat. yeah so basically i think the revelation of the speech. kind of like confirm what a lot of the experts in china really talking about which is the fact that the central government has long known about the situation locally in but what they did not do is to immediately step in and really take over in really make sure that the situation is not going out of control instead they let the local government and also medical experts in the beginning to kind of like downplay the seriousness of the whole outbreak while they insist on continuing wish with
11:36 am
a lot of the very risky situations like inviting 40000 families in 100 cells to gather over ride for chinese new year when the virus was already spreading among people to people so i think that just shows that the it's basically a very serious challenge to xi jinping image as a very strong leader asked what he wanted to do when he openly talked about it and addressed the government and the local the whole nation to immediately set it as the top priority. when you look at the situation what's the mood of the chinese people at this point. i mean i follow chinese social media most we chat in a way or and people are obviously very angry i mean despite the you know it does censorship there are still a lot of people expressing their outrage and us as we are saying or their sadness over the situation and the fear over you know their house in that family's house
11:37 am
you know going to something that put this in the context saying that this might be one of the top 3 greatest challenges that the chinese communist party has faced putting it in the same tear as him and square and the cultural revolution does that seem accurate or fair from your perspective. i think i mean definitely it's the you know the biggest challenges since she came to power i mean just plain preserving the deep end or owning to it but i want to say you know there are waves reach out to disasters disasters and emergency you know the cyrus in 2003. there when joe crane a train crash in 202011 the explosion 202015 so that i don't observe the waves of anger so every time the government. you know responded it was more censorship in a more repression so the government had been you know been able to successfully suppress public anger talk about the suppression and the censorship maria you've
11:38 am
written in the new york times an op ed piece that there actually is some reporting some good reporting coming out from outlets and we'll hand can you expand on that a little bit. it wasn't so much local algos it was actually the national media that group in with a professional manner on the crisis including media such as i see magazine out of beijing i think is also based in beijing a number of beijing based but also media base and one joe and other cities in the land itself it was more civic civic activists or social media activists who were reporting from within there were filming and some of them have already disappeared but the media itself has persisted for quite some time there was a window opening for investigative journalism that revealed the cover ups at the local level at every step of the way one of the most aggressive reports was done by its i seen magazine and some of this of course have remained uncensored so the media control it's not completely uniform some things disappear you know
11:39 am
immediately some things remain online it's kind of a absaroke improvised matter of restrictions and i think it's not completely a blanket you know form of censorship maria you mentioned that before the window closed what do you mean by the window and how does one know when it's opened or closed the window is a space or departure to report on events more critical matter so yes i just mentioned this notion of you know crisis management in china have seen crises you know appear over and over and there's several tactics that the state takes as crisis take place one of them is of course censorship but at the beginning when everything isn't torn well when it's not quite clear what's taking place there is usually an opportunity or kind of a space of a few days 2 weeks sometimes a couple of weeks when journalists can report on the events in a more objective sometimes more in-depth and critical manner and this practice of critical journalism has evolved in china over decades it's not a new thing even though western media tends to focus only on censorship we actually see some really talented brave and professional reporters in china that have survived restrictions and have take advantage of this with the rare spaces we're
11:40 am
going to cover the fact that you're due to find that there's a window when they can report when they can come out of reaffirming the fact that the government is going to control of the narrative and that there is suppression and censorship of free expression even though as i understand it free expression is guaranteed by the chinese constitution. well the fact that there is a window means that the spaces are fragile is another window that last forever there perhaps as i said days a week with afterwards the states there to take over the narrative so the curate narrative was more positive sentiment celebrating the heroes of the crisis and everybody was doing good to support the national effort of beating this disease a bit doesn't mean that their normal type of horses just as as you just mentioned even curate in social media sphere there are still people criticizing various aspects of governance during this crisis so the train is full of contradictions there isn't just this one you know with a dimension of control there also various voices that managed to speak through as loopholes and they continue to do so to this day the fact they have. sounds like confirmation of our that i'm sorry you guys are going to go forward that's all i
11:41 am
think i want to just raise 2 very prime examples of people who are actually taking the advantage in the very beginning when the government hasn't really imposed 3 years and so should you know so change shows. that he's one of the most active poster in citizen journalists now when in 200 and sharing a daily deals and also a house then you should live about what's actually happening in the very beginning the whole world is actually relying on what he's actually sharing with the world to know what exactly happened one day later when the government is starting to take in control of the narrative he was forced into disappearance and there's another guy whose name is funding and also he famously showed another baby oh that's a showing that actually dead body were being managed in a very just now medically correct way and then that was also allowing people to see how the local government is being overwhelmed by the situation and then later on he
11:42 am
was also disappear i was actually supposed to interview him on the day that he was he went disappeared so that just shows that when the government is starting to step in in terms of controlling the narrative these critical voices would then be silenced in a very oppressed way. yeah but their silence also you know in a way that's not complete rights of some of them are silence to disappear others continue to publish so there's this incoherent kind of control but we do see the most radical voices that are very popular online the more popular you are the more likely you are to disappear so there's kind of a kind that almost the most outspoken or vocal or popular i feel you know this really don't create is is actually a tool going to change it's government to you know as a way to get information so when something i mean this is not just happened to this absolutely it happened during changing exposure you see there's that window there critical reporting and it done by you know who did it fantastic job how do you do
11:43 am
so it's also a way for the chinese come together information from the public you see you know what's going on on the ground in a how angry people are. you know one of them and is known for response of authoritarianism which means responding to public concerns while controlling of the opinion how to make sense of the back of this so we can take a look at my laptop here read this opinion piece from nicholas kristoff of the new york times this week and called i cannot remain silent and refer you to a scholar who's written an essay that's gone viral cross china called the viral alarm when fury overcomes fear and in this essay he writes a little scroll down to it if i can find it that this is probably the last thing i'll be able to write and shortly after that i can't find it here but shortly after that he was made incommunicado has now been cut off from all communications but we're going to post this so people can see it if you check out my twitter feed you can actually find a link to this say that they don't want you to see but it's not just journalists or
11:44 am
citizen journalists who have disappeared now we're starting to silence scholars on this as a scholar maria what like what's the message you take away from that. well sadly some scholars has also taken place for quite some time when it's color big it's again very visible online he turns into she turns into an activist as well as call us in china are very known for participating in social movements both subtle and less subtle so i think once one becomes you know a visible school or somebody who's actually speaking on behalf of the public but also raising such sensitive issues it's freedom of speech you shift into a category that sensitive and as a result may face reprimands that you wouldn't otherwise face if you're quietly living your days as an academic in a university you know it's really somewhere oh sorry i thought i heard you were down there i was reading somewhere that something like one out of 10 people on this planet are under quarantine right now like 10 percent of the planet's population
11:45 am
700 something 1000000 people are under quarantine you look at it you what what could china have done differently and this if this outbreak would have started in manhattan or in l.a. would 'd the u.s. responded in the any better perhaps. i certainly hope so i mean i mean something that i would say it is like kind of laws are tearing impulses to hit information at the very beginning so i would hopefully expect if it had been in the u.s. that at the local government would you know much it's parent. and it would disclose the information. you know accurately so i think that is the 1st aspect i think you know right now i'm from a social media i saw a lot of feed us of like you know people are literally neck tied because they seem to wear wear masks when they go out so they are a lot of like human rights violation is just like a government actions that you know it's very you know it's not respecting people's
11:46 am
dignity so you know i would expect if it happened in democratic countries there are you know done a little bit better you know respecting people's basic dignity i want to i want to bring in twitter here this is a tweet from femi last week bringing up the issue and as i scroll down i found this tweet where someone put up this graphic about how freedom of speech has impacted the spread of this crisis and william i'm curious from from your perspective of how has the locked out on information affected the board a for people to respond to the virus. yeah so i think earth like if we actually look at the progression of this whole event in the very beginning when there's a very controlled way of like the government notifying people the whole city of and about the actual nature of the virus they were telling them that it's curable in
11:47 am
controllable so people have less awareness about what they need to do and then when things are starting to go out of control of the government. like we see it there was a period of time when they didn't know what to say or what to do so the citizen journalists jump in and then start filling in the actual picture of what's happening and people certainly raise their awareness to the highest level and then. and then we stop panicking in 100 cells all the resources daily products and groceries when just disappeared within a day and then you know then the government jump in again and we start that the information started to be very cold ordinator in a way that the government want the public to know so in terms of the freedom of expression in this particular crisis plays a very. significant role in this stage is that people were being informed and also other experts were saying how the power of internet is actually making
11:48 am
a big difference in terms of making this a lot more complex complicated situation for the chinese government to control and deal with comparing to let's say the june 4th or even a cultural revolution to everyone to have a cell phone back to mexico so much harder to control the information we went to the chinese government asked for comment or a guess we didn't like can affirmative response on that so we do want to bring on a bite here from president xi of self because as the virus continues to sweep across trial the people have been looking to the central government expression of the president for action here's what president using ping said in late january as he met with the head of the world health organization. what of. the chinese people are now in a serious battle against the epidemic the chinese government attaches great importance to this because the purpose of the government is to put the lives and health of the people at the top of all priorities therefore i have been personally
11:49 am
directing and deploying the epidemic prevention and containment work this time i believe that as long as we strengthen our confidence help each other adopt scientific prevention and containment measures and persistent precise policies we will definitely win the battle against the outbreak could you so there's president you're saying that he's personally in charge of this but if he's personally in charge why is it only officials at the lower levels seem to be getting fired well and what do you think this goes back to that there is typical with the c.c.p. it has always been handling crisis like this is that they need to make sure its highest level of their souls are not going to be consider as like losing control over the society so in chinese we call it way one in english we can translate it into maintaining stability so mental instability is always going to be the top priority for the chinese communist party of the dairy top level no matter what so they'd rather sacrifice those at the bottom you know to make them look incompetent
11:50 am
where as the central government will then jump in and then in the end they can always shape the narrative into something as if you know this is a triumph for the socialism done to china that china has urged championing and promoting over the last 70 years i want to bring in joshua warning here he's a democracy activist and leader of the protest in hong kong and we have a community sought from him can we play that that now. all. in hong kong is just empire how it got from one console to crisis and its lack of capacity to confidence hong kong with step lety especially when the government is not elected by people and with a saute off surgical mosque people lined up in the meat night just because asking for a mosque and enough tea shoes which is really hard to imagine in such well off the front of the city so i feeling with such uncertainty it explain why the reason we
11:51 am
need to fight for democracy we need a government that is elected by people instead of just serves free in the interest of. the i want to show you something on twitter here that's on my laptop would turn the sound on this is. before to be tens of thousands of people have gone out to their porches or were on it or screaming and their yeah they're yelling. on ad all which means keep the fighting up keep it pumped up and if you go down and look at the commissary must be a lot in chile. under the pinochet regime they have a call casseroles where people are now banged pans the way expressing kind of solidarity when you can't get to the street or it's not safe to get a straight you look at the comments below yes we hear you know you are not alone you shout out the same all around the globe oil your government has failed you but we are with you will this have lasting consequences on the government in china. i
11:52 am
think it's a little too early to say what sort of consequences this will bring because as we wish all over the years when this crisis occur at the beginning there is this almost hopeful narrative in western media that something might happen and this is just latest one called activists you know who is that you know we should fight for democracy but this is a perspective or could also mean to solidarity to fight the crisis it doesn't mean fight the government so that's one thing and 2nd thing is that so you think would take opportunity you took mass apartment you got to showcase the straight the capacity the chinese parties there to beat this massive epidemic because again going back to comparisons we don't really have comparisons at the moment with the u.s. will have something comparable that has happened in the west recently so it's hard to see how another government would have handled it but if they handle it well enough say it is the epidemic disappears in a month or a few months and they play it as a victory this could actually play into the strength of the party state so i think for now saying that this is a massive failure of the whole system is way too early i totally agree i think you know i'm not i'm worried about the state government can become even want to do
11:53 am
oppressive absolutely because right now that they've been implementing a lot of restrictions on people's movement on people's speech i mean it strikes me that they would not live to do things i mean they don't help them to horn their precious skills soon this emergency. room what do you think will this have a lasting effect over the story of china. i think i have to agree with both maria in actual here actually in fact in an interview that she did with me just a couple weeks ago and right after dr lee when the owner died we did she that touched on the fact that how the chinese government has been the research that successful in terms of controlling and using censorship as a very powerful tool to ensure that everything will end up still under their control and she didn't ping in particular has been very good at using technology as a way to monitor and surveil people and right now she has been imposing and
11:54 am
implementing all these so-called wartime measures throughout will harm him who by province and it's actually expanding to other parts of china which means that people's basic movement and freedom of movement is completely out of their hands and everything is now being monitored and controlled by the government so when that happens i just think that it's there in part they're unlikely for people to be able to have a very coordinated way to kind of like put up a very. i guess late fight against the government or the system that they consider as feeling that kind of control does it make your job at amnesty international how does it affect your job at mc international water. hi christopher i work for human rights watch but what i'm sorry you're right and. i mean we have always had difficulties in accessing china and until we try our best i mean of course i talk to people through secure channels. and when people come out of china
11:55 am
we try to have commune communication with them to teach them how to best protect themselves and they bring those skills back to china. yeah it has been difficult and it's getting increasingly difficult emery what do you say in terms of political communication how has the revolution of smartphones and everyone has them now affected the government's communication strategies. well i think the the evolution of smartphones has affected the dynamics of political communications on the one hand we see this epidemic is the 1st one being truly televised by people themselves from doctors to you know be sions to common residents we really have this kind of sense of participating participating in this crisis everybody is watching it which puts up a lot of pressure on authorities to perform of course but it also can accentuate the performance itself over the years the government has with a perfect of the performance there's been all kinds of new apps new strategies to develop develop going to attract people into this various official communication orbits you know all sorts of games and messages and all kinds of propaganda
11:56 am
techniques so smartphones and new media have wealth you know accelerated the interaction between state of society but they also empower both the societal actors to be more creative but also the state to be more powerful in propagating its narrative that was now seen dissensions in real life which is why this case is extremely fascinating because it also a little bit unfair to put so much criticism on china when they've really alone had to bear the brunt of this so far you look at the press now i think we might be at a turning point where the chinese chapter of the corona virus might be wrapping up and we're looking at this being a worldwide virus will that take some of the pressure off of china when the virus is spreading in other countries will you. urt i don't think so because like people will always look back to where it came from and then there are in fact some very worrying signs that this epidemic has already been associated in the very i would say the very racially discriminated way to some people i mean chinese of chinese
11:57 am
descent or even asian descent in different parts of the world they're facing challenges and difficulties of being labeled as you know the group of people that are spreading this virus right now just here in new york i was just having lunch with a friend who was reporting about how the chinatown business has been a dick decreasing by. couple percentage just since the outbreak started a month ago so that's just shows how much you know people are sometimes associate in the outbreak with in a very more either way i'm here to wrap it there or go thank you though for joining us and thank all our guests for joining us that's offer today but keep sending your thoughts and comments through twitter there too of al-jazeera dot com for slash the straight bye for now.
11:58 am
i cannot lock my phone with my face you can access your bank account with your voice unique algorithmic measurements of us that are revolutionizing the process of identification but biometrics are far from perfect convenience and seeming infallibility comes at a cop's most crucially our privacy. and the force of a far far series on radio addresses the appropriation of our most personal characteristics all hail the algorithm on al-jazeera when the news breaks. when people need to be heard a gentle situation of course is affecting both the bonanza lanphier and graphics and the story needs to be told with exclusive interviews is a country that is used to being polarized and in-depth reports. have i phone 5 is al-jazeera has teams on the ground there are saying that they're against you on the right to play in the real world who documentaries and live news.
11:59 am
knife begin. babies every year in the united states. it also ends on the same day. the baby is african-american. this is twice as likely to happen why. rewind america's infant mortality on al-jazeera.
12:00 pm
the director of a hospital at the epicenter of the corona virus outbreak in china has died from the illness highlighting the dangers facing help workers. i'm richelle carey this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up they're paying union says it will force a struggling arms embargo in libya with sea and air patrols. why felicitous prime minister is being investigated in connection with the murder of the former 1st lady we'll have a live report. an offer of support from iran is not a nonstarter.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on