ACCUMULATING PERIPHERALS


Me! I disconnect from you by foarp
July 17, 2009, 12:29 pm
Filed under: China, Uncategorized

[By FOARP, title explained here]

Despite weeks during which hashtags consisting of various expletives follow by the acronym GFW (or Great Fire Wall) first topped the trending charts on Twitter as a sign of protest against the Chinese government’s blocking of various website, and were then, ironically, censored by Twitter for profanity, the Chinese government is not likely to pay much heed to China’s Twitterati. Of course, the wave of blockings that have taken place since February this year, including at various times Google, Hotmail, and Twitter, and still covering all the main blogging services as well as Youtube. Particularly noteworthy has been the blocking of two very prominent China blogs: Danwei.org and PekingDuck.org. Both of these blogs are written by long-term China expats who have only rarely and seemingly accidentally been blocked in the past but who are now both subject to purposeful and permanent blocks, whilst both are in their own way critical of the Chinese government, both are also amongst the most objectively sympathetic monitors of modern China. The writer of Peking Duck, for example, was previously an editor for the Global Times, a state-owned publication. This appears even more illogical when you consider that foreign media such as the BBC and the Wall Street Journal remain available in English.

However, this may not be as illogical as it seems, and may indicate a definite strategy. Last year’s disturbances in Weng’an, to the surprise of many, relatively uncensored discussion of the incident was allowed on government-run websites whilst being suppressed on other websites. The reasoning behind this is not hard to grasp – fulfil the people’s need for discussion whilst maintaining and directing the flow of the argument. Hence rather than the patchy and easily avoided blocking of the past in the future the government will allow access to foreign media sites up to a point whilst indoctrinating the Chinese public to thoroughly distrust them as weapons of foreign powers (a line now generally accepted in China), and simultaneously block any fora in which people might discuss Chinese issues but which are beyond Chinese government control. The objective has switched from the mere blocking of information to the control of discussion so as to run along lines favourable to the government.

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3 Comments so far
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And we are Cowrazy in debt to these people and remain in bed with them…..why??? It’s been explained to me over and over and over but, seriously.

Comment by Forrester McLeod

The debt is not so much of a problem – well, it’s a huge problem, but the fact it is owed to the Chinese in particular is no biggie, maybe even the reverse. The problem of Chinese blocking is far more one for the Chinese people, it may even hold back their economic development in the long-run. Think of all the big products of web 2.0 – none of them have been able to gain much of a foothold in the Chinese market because of their intermittent blocking. The Chinese government tries to promote domestic alternatives – but these essentially are just lame knock-offs which only offer part of the functionality of the original product.

Even more of a problem is that, like most government projects, once it has been started it cannot just be closed down the same way a business can. The GFW employs tens of thousands of people, much effort has been expended in justifying it and the money spent on it – no government can go back on this without losing face.

Comment by foarp

Hey there! Thanks for taking the time for one such as myself. I’ve been reading your posts daily, but don’t like to speak up on things I don’t understand, which politically is MUCH! 🙂

You’ve got China lodged squarely in my brain. I get that our debt and the Chinese govt. blocking communication are two seperate issues. I’m off topic. I just find it very ironic and frightening that we rely so heavily on a communist country with a massive army for financial aid and most of our products. Our family has been boycotting products from China for years now. It’s HARD! Sometimes we cave because there is no other alternative than “made in China”; or we quite honestly don’t feel like putting in the crazy amount of time and extra money it takes to find alternatives. At other times we just do without. It cracks me up to hear people bragging about the wonderful bargains they get because of this situation; yet they turn around and bitch and moan about China’s rape of Tibet, or how they’re running their country and suppressing their people. I also read somewhere that they helped supply the weaponry for the massacre in Darfur. I don’t remember the source. Is that true???

I realize most, if not all, governments, certainly including my own (US) behave horribly and overstep boundaries. There are instances where I could understand people boycotting our products (the few made here), for God’s sake. I appreciate people who stay “on top of it all” and keep the rest of us informed. Pressing the send button now I hope I haven’t made an ass of myself. Ah well, I’m sure someone will tell me if I have!

Have a Great One and know that this tiny portion of the peanut gallery is enjoying your “filling in for Matt” posts.

Comment by Forrester McLeod




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