Communication for Social Change -- American
Communication for Social Stability
Non-communication for Social Change
Non-communication for Social Stability -- Chinese
This does sound like a trick with language. But I think they actually reflect some differences between two sets of values about communication (You can say that they are, in a highly simplified way, the American and the Chinese values).
While social change is considered as a goal that is worth fighting for in the US, Chinese prefer social stability, aka, no big changes in the social hierarchy. In order to achieve that stability, sometimes blocking communication becomes necessary. Keeping it to yourself becomes a virtue because speaking out may make the conflicts look heated and even trigger violent reactions. Take it, bear it, and live along with it. Then we'll have our stability.
However, not speaking out does not equal no difference/disagreement. Instead, the differences or disagreements take a private format, exist silently in the corners of people's mind, and are actually very vulnerable to manipulation. Due to the lack of communication, every individual's perception of the general public and its will is skewed or biased. This situation, believe it or not, may be friendly to social change. Imagine that a rumor successfully makes everybody think that the majority is for one action. People go out and support the action because they think everyone else is doing it. This situation may be named as "spiral of action".
My late-afternoon practice of reasoning...
I am an Associate Professor at Department of Communication and New Media, National University of Singapore.