China Begins 90 Day Drive Against Piracy. And then?

Airport Expressway, Inbound
Beijing
1036 hrs.

Jonathan Landreth did an excellent piece on the Ministry of Culture’s circular requiring authorities in 15 major Chinese cities and provinces to spend the next 90 days cracking down on piracy and pornography. THis was apparently in advance of Bush’s visit (“See, Dubya? We’re tough hombres on pirates”) and in response to the WTO demand on Chin to prove it’s getting tougher on pirates.

All public relations value of such activities aside, one feels compelled to prevail upon the esteemed comrades at the Ministry of Culture about the potential efficacy of such an activity.

> Why only 15 cities and provinces? Why not everywhere? Does this mean to ignore nearly half the provinces in the country? Talk about a loophole so big you could fly a large asteroid through. They even NAME the provinces and leave out such notorious centers of piracy as Hainan and the entirety of the northeast. Attention all pirates and pornographers: please move here for the next 90 days. Thanks.

> As much respect I have for the Ministry of Culture, I have to wonder whether the nation’s police forces really feel compelled to drop everything they’re doing and follow an MoC directive. Would it not have been more compelling to the police forces of the land for this to come from the PSB?

> Question: After 90 days, then what? Business as usual?

Jonathan also points out the sheer stupidity of announcing this all IN ADVANCE of the enforcement effort. They may as well phone the factories before coming by. (Or maybe they do that, too?)

This all has the look of a cross between a PR opportunity and a Vietnam-era search-and-destroy operation. High fives for the cameras, but the bad guys will get away. And it almost looks like that is what the authorities want to happen.

Welcome to China. Cynicism, Unltd.