PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 June, 2013, 3:18pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 June, 2013, 3:54pm

Snowden revelations divide 'left' and 'right' in China


Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for Amy can be reached at, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP

China’s nationalists, thrilled by revelations made by whistleblower Edward Snowden,  attacked the country’s liberals and "advocates of western values" on Thursday, accusing them of posing a greater threat to China’s national security than Snowden does to the US.

Zhang Hongliang, a professor at Minzu University of China known for his hawkish views, compared China’s so-called “public intellectuals” to “traitors”.

“Most of our public intellectuals have done much more harm to China than Snowden has done to the US,” he said, “But they not only evade punishment, but even get to attack the country's patriots everyday.”

Zhang urged China to track down these liberal ''traitors.”

“Until China hunts down anti-Maoists, anti-communists, and anti-Chinese, only then will it achieve its national revival,” he wrote.

“How could you equate anti-communists with anti-Chinese,” a microblogger argued, “And don’t forget all the 'traitors'  living in the big houses in Los Angeles are communist cadres, not public intellectuals. ”

"When will you stop criticising US and start ciriticising your own government?," another micro-blogger retorted.

Nationalist microblogger Wu Danhong , who posts on Weibo under the alias Wu Fatian, echoed Zhang by accusing liberals and pro-American opinion leaders, of  “losing their voices” about the Snowden revelations.

The claim might not hold water since Edward Snowden has become a trending topic on Weibo and was widely discussed by net users, liberals and conservatives alike. Many have hailed Snowden as a hero.

“China has its own share of NSAs and spies,” one blogger wrote, “But when will we have our own Edward Snowden?”



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