This report is only going to reinforce the Chinese government’s firmly held belief that Western forces, and especially US forces, are behind the recent uprisings and that they are right to be paranoid about Western anti-China plots.
Most already know the US does this, but some of the details may be new. Perhaps the Chinese government was not aware of all these activities, and to the extent that any are revelations they will only serve to strengthen the arguments of the more paranoid and perhaps shift some of the more skeptical, if there are any left, to their side. At a minimum this report may serve as good fodder for additional strident anti-US editorials, and the editorialists here love pointing to the New York Times for evidence.
Revelations of Google and Facebook’s sponsorship of a training conference with Egyptian activists are unlikely to help their efforts in China, to put it mildly.
From the article:
A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, theNational Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks…
Some Egyptian youth leaders attended a 2008 technology meeting in New York, where they were taught to use social networking and mobile technologies to promote democracy. Among those sponsoring the meeting were Facebook, Google, MTV, Columbia Law School and the State Department.
“We learned how to organize and build coalitions,” said Bashem Fathy, a founder of the youth movement that ultimately drove the Egyptian uprisings. Mr. Fathy, who attended training with Freedom House, said, “This certainly helped during the revolution.”