It's been well-documented that China is facing a series of moral crises, a society in search of deeper meaning than just wealth and personal prosperity.
But to read today's editorial from the Global Times newspaper, one believe the morality crisis stems from bad behavior and pranks on the Internet. The newspaper, in a screed against web users' manners, says a lack of ethics is ruining China's Internet. What really seems to be behind the the hand-wringing: Internet users -- artist Ai Weiwei, for one -- posting online the telephone numbers of the newspaper's own editor-in-chief, among others.
"The staff of Global Times have no personal grudge against Ai. Global Times has published several commentaries concerning Ai's case since April but has made no personal attacks against him," the paper wrote. "Besides, these comments were conducted against the background of Western media and foreign governments meddling in Ai's case. Global Times' response is normal work for a newspaper."
"Personal enmities also do not exist between intellectuals and journalists who abused each other online. Differences in political values caused this friction. To overwhelm the other side, they even adopted extreme means that violate laws and morality," in continued.
Just last week, the newspaper published an editorial saying government critics like Ai, who spent three months in secret detention without charges this spring, are on the verge of distinction and irrelevant to China's overall development.