The Aug. 10 editorial "Squelching Internet freedom" tackled the major phenomenon in Russia and China of rulers fearing the free flow of information. But the editorial missed a key fact that China's leadership is going to be reshuffled this fall during the 19th Party Congress. Internet censorship is the usual trick that the Chinese government uses before leadership transition. In fact, as it gets closer to the Party Congress, not only are Internet controls tightened in China, but cultural diffusion is also restricted — thousands of foreign movies and TV shows have been taken off various websites and broadcast platforms. The discussion of the leadership transition is also controlled on social media — comments and posts would be automatically deleted if the content contained names and words related to political issues. Furthermore, a new rule urges major TV channels to not air any entertainment shows during prime time in China.

Unlike in the United States, the change of leadership is not allowed to be discussed in China, and the recent regulations are aiming to maximally limit free speech before a major leadership reshuffle.

Qinglian Li, Arlington