More on the Chen Guangcheng Speech

1) Here is a beautiful photo by Patrick Yuen, used with his permission, that captures the mood and drama of Chen Guangcheng's presentation at the National Cathedral last night.


The picture is from more or less the place where I was sitting and distills the hold that Chen Guangcheng had over the audience as he spoke.

2) In addition to the Washington National Cathedral's own webcast of the event, another MP4 video of the whole session is available here.

When I find a transcript of the speech as a whole, I will mention it. But here is another sample section, about the role and potential influence of foreigners:

I'm often asked what the international community can do to help promote democracy and rule of law in China. I sincerely hope that people around the world will lose their fear of offending China because it's rich and powerful. I want people to stop turning a blind eye to the abuses that people throughout China are suffering. Stop supporting the myth that anyone who urges the Communist Party to abide by their own laws will be retaliated against and be treated as an enemy of the state. Don't do anything on the basis that China's rulers will be pleased or not pleased

In the last part of the panel discussion, Jerome Cohen, Cheng Li, and Dorinda Elliott enlarge on what this means in practice. The Democracy Report

3) The latest Chinese-based hacking attacks against the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and other news outlets may well have occurred at a level where passwords on individual accounts don't offer protection. Nonetheless, I've used this as an occasion to change all my important passwords, which I've done today. (Background point one: this piece. Background point two: I use and like LastPass.)

Of course, we must maintain an open mind about these episodes. Heed the words of the Chinese foreign ministry, which says that the idea of Chinese hacking is "groundless":

"To arbitrarily assert and to conclude without hard evidence that China participated in such hacking attacks is totally irresponsible," said spokesman Hong Lei.

"China is also a victim of hacking attacks. Chinese laws clearly forbid hacking attacks, and we hope relevant parties takes a responsible attitude on this issue."

Noted. For the record, here is Chen Guangcheng last night on what Chinese laws "clearly forbid." Let's hope his assessment proves too harsh:

In China, the law is optional, something that those in power use when it suits them and ignore when it doesn't. The law in China is nothing more than empty words, just scraps of paper. 
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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