>Spokesman reassures reporters on human rights as well
BEIJING – After initially promising completely unfettered access to the internet for reporters during their stay for the Olympic Games, China now admits it “meant full access to the uncensored portions” of the internet.
“We will keep the promise we made, for full access to China’s internet, which of course, is different than Western notions of ‘full access,’” explained Chinese Olympics spokesman Qin Gang. He elaborated, “Our internet is freer than the West’s, as it is free of lies – which is better, I’m sure you reporters will agree. And if not, we’ll be happy to show you how our internet access is even extended to prisoners.” Qin Gang further pledged a Chinese commitment to improve their human rights record, “by reducing average torture time, as well as our promise to provide athletes with clean air, which we will accomplish by sending them out to sea on a raft if they complain. I’m sure all agree, sea air is quite refreshing!”
Human rights advocates have accused Beijing of stepping up the detention and surveillance of those it fears could disrupt the Games. But Qin Gang said they are doing nothing out of the ordinary. “We have our quotas, you know, just like American cops. Maintaining the level of efficiency we are accustomed to in our vast prison system requires we keep it well stocked. It’s just business as usual.” He added, “We know you Americans are well-versed in this practice as well, having a higher percentage of prisoners than any country in the world. We admire that in you, and hope to emulate your success.”
However, Mr. Gang assured reporters that Chinese prisons are not overcrowded. “Some cells are reserved, just in case,” he said, adding, “we don’t want our athletes to get too comfortable, thinking there won’t be consequences for losing. Also, you reporters need to know you should not get too cocky either.” Prison space needs to be saved for potential terrorist arrests too, he said, especially those that stand in front of Chinese tanks.