China is stepping into the global limelight, as the upcoming 2008 Beijing Olympic Games has attracted worldwide attention, but in the meantime also attracted the political speculators as well as those with ulterior motives who attempt to vilify China for their own purposes.
"Reporters Without Borders", or Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) in French, is such an organization and has been acting as the pioneer spearheading the anti-China forces in the world in such a malicious way as involved in harassing the 2008 Olympic torch relay, imposing pressure on the International Olympic Committee, backing "Tibet independence" segments, and trying to deter some Western leaders from attending the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games next month.
French political commentator Maksim has described the organization as a clumsy bomber equipped with a golden rotor, due to the fact that even though it cannot gain much altitude, it still can make much noise. RSF, clad in various disguises, has all along reached out to the influential and the power for attention and funding, as he remarked.
Hovering specter RSF was founded in Montpellier, France, in 1985 by its current Secretary General Robert Menard, and is now a Paris-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press.
When Robert Menard founded RSF 20 years ago, he gave the group a name which evokes another French organization respected worldwide for its humanitarian work and which maintains a strict neutrality in political conflicts – Doctors Without Borders. But RSF, since its establishment, has been anything but non-partisan and objective in political affairs, in particular in its approach to Latin America including Cuba.
From the beginning, RSF has made Cuba its number one target. Allegedly founded to advocate freedom of the press around the world and to help journalists under attack, the organization has called Cuba "the world's biggest prison for journalists." It gives the country the lowest ranking on its press freedom index and has even waged campaigns aimed at discouraging Europeans from vacationing in Cuba and the European Union from doing business there, so as to damage Cuban economy.
The founder, Menard himself has been described by some French commentators as a specter hovering the French press, and his group a self-built ladder for him to climb up the social hierarchy. Within the group, Menard monopolies on the decision process, which has driven away many others, and it is said that Menard used to state, "I like to make decisions all by myself."
RSF issues more than 1,000 reports annually, covering many countries. That such a tiny group with at most 60 personnel could produce so large a quantity of annual reports covering such a wide range is beyond anybody's common sense, and therefore, the astonishing "efficiency" of the group and the accuracy of its reports are both open to doubt.
It can be easily found from RSF's official website that those with 'free press' records are mostly the sponsors funding the group. RSF used to blast Taiwan for driving away reporters from the Chinese mainland, but since Menard was rewarded by the then Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian a medal and a beautiful check of US$100,000, Taiwan has since been listed among "the world's top states and regions with press freedom."