Does Nortel help China persecute cyber-dissidents?

This article (which is more like a long string of quotes)l ooks into this controversial question and concludes that companies like Nortel can’t shrug off such charges by saying the technology they sell to China is no different from what they sell elsewhere. The writer obviously finds them guilty as charged.

“Nortel’s position on this is criminal from a moral is absolutely scandalous,” lawyer Clive Ansley, a Vancouver Island-based expert on Chinese legal issues, told The Asian Pacific Post.

“What this company is doing is basically telling China that we at Nortel can help you track down activists and free speech advocates,” said Ansley, a former professor of Chinese studies and Chinese law in Canada, who was the first foreign lawyer to open a law office in Shanghai.

“Instead of implementing laws to control the export of such technology that results in scores being rounded up, jailed and even killed, the Liberal government has been handing out tax dollars to companies like Nortel.

“This is indicative of the close links the Liberals have with China’s trade and corporate community and human rights is not part of the deal.

“The Liberal government believes that this process of engagement which leads to millions of tax dollars going to China will help the communist regime become more democratic and respect human rights.

“That is like trying to teach a tiger to be a vegetarian,” said Ansley, who spent the last 20 years in China and Taiwan.

The article has heaps of quotes from others, all condemning Canada’s Liberal government for its tax breaks to Nortel, but the reader needs to beware: the article appears to be quite political, at moments reading as though it were campaign literature for the Conservative party.

It would have been a much better article if it took a practical look at what exactly the Nortel technology does, and if it’s any more sinister than what it offers to everybody in other countries.

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