• Je suis Charlie.


    At least 12 people are dead after two hooded gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs attacked the headquarters of a French satirical magazine and opened fire on journalists and police guards.

    The terrorist attack had indeed three dimensions. First, they targeted not only freedom of speech but the right of blasphemy. The Charlie Hebdo cartoons may not have pleased everyone but they were about exercising a right that the French revolution of 1789 introduced. Before that, blasphemy was a crime.

    Up to 2 million people poured on to the streets of Paris – and an estimated 3.7 million across France – in a demonstration of unity against terror and in defence of values that are at the heart of democracy, and at the heart of Europe.

    In 2008, Charlie Hebdo was criticized for running cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Mohammed. The magazine defended the publication in the name of freedom of expression.

    The wave of compassion for the victims of Charlie Hebdo took place all around the world and came in China. Here is the difficulty for that country: condemn an attack against freedom of the press and wider freedom of expression while freedom of speech represents a thorny subject in China. That is probably why terrorist attacks have not been displayed in A but relegated to the inside pages of local newspapers.

    Chinese people don't have a similar vision to the Western people, because of differences both cultural and historical. It is thus important to recall that the cartoon in China is very discreet and is subject to the control of censorship, which makes the eyes of a pretty bland Occidental.

    Discussions with Chinese people clarify this point of view: if the distinction between Muslims and Islamists is not very clear to them, the fact remains that the best to preserve the harmony of a society is to avoid the subject of religion.

    Insecurity in Paris continues to be denounced by the Chinese authorities for more than three years. These days are only reinforcing these fears and certainly bring a significant decline in tourism and the number of Chinese students in France next year.


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