Online dissent in China
November 7, 2003 12:58 AM   Subscribe

China's crackdown on online dissent continues. It's been a year since the arrest of Chinese internet dissident Liu Di. Many of her supporters have signed petitions calling for her release, but last week one of their organizers, essayist Du Daobin, was himself arrested.
posted by homunculus (13 comments total)
Bush really should have chosen his recent description of China more carefully.
posted by homunculus at 1:02 AM on November 7, 2003

I think it is on par with the neo-american concept of freedom.
posted by Eirixon at 1:28 AM on November 7, 2003

that sounded more euro-commie than I wanted it to. Sorry if I offended anyone.
posted by Eirixon at 2:26 AM on November 7, 2003

homunculus: I hadn't seen that quote; thanks. It's amusing that George tosses out little treats for countries that behave "well". If they play their cards right, there might be a walk and belly rub in the future.

As a quick side story, a work colleague asked me about the possibility of setting up a web proxy so that he and his family (in China) could communicate using encrypted webmail. Sites like Hushmail, etc., are surely restricted there.
posted by denbot at 5:17 AM on November 7, 2003

Sites like Hushmail, etc., are surely restricted there.

As someone on the other side of the Great Firewall, I can definitively tell you that no, Hushmail is not blocked. Of the links in this fpp I was only unable to connect to the Human Rights Watch website. However, most proxy servers aren't blocked so this is easily circumvented. For the curious, the only blocked domains I've found are the bbc, blogspot, (home of the sj mercury news), and now Human Rights Watch.
posted by Treeline at 5:55 AM on November 7, 2003

I was in China about 6 months ago Treeline and I seem to remember you could get BBC Sport but not the News sections, is that right?
posted by johnny novak at 8:14 AM on November 7, 2003

More from Glenn Reynolds.
posted by homunculus at 11:34 AM on November 7, 2003

Homunculus, if you have a look at the speech itself, you'll see Bush didn't say "We see a China that secure the freedom of its own people" but rather "We SEEK a China that works...etc"

Don't get me wrong though, I'm no fan of the Shrub.
posted by lambchops at 4:26 PM on November 7, 2003

Thanks for catching that, lambchop. It actually looks like the transcript was changed.
posted by homunculus at 5:05 PM on November 7, 2003

Interesting stuff. Seems they forgot to throw the versions which had "see" in them (eg Australia's parliamentary record, Hansard) down the memory hole though...
posted by lambchops at 6:49 PM on November 7, 2003

What amazes me is that China *can* be governed. It seems to desperately need such a major restructuring that the task would seem next to impossible without catastrophic destruction. Democracy, in just about any form? I would say impossible.
Several promising disasters waiting to happen:

Vast numbers of uneducated peasants who *cannot* coexist with modern China.

A terrible male to female imbalance, with 25-50 million males who have no chance to marry or have a female partner.

Demographic demands on their economy that exceed even wild expansion and growth.
posted by kablam at 6:55 PM on November 7, 2003

johnny novak, I can't get the sports site either.

kablam, are you sure you're comfortable making such sweeping judgements? The history I've read shows that China has been governed in much the same centralized fashion for 2000 years now, so what exactly amazes you about the fact that it can be governed? I think China could easily handle a japanese or mexican-style democracy as a transition to something more open, and I think that the government overestimates the threat of a free press. It's true that Chinese farmers face a possible threat from WTO reforms, but why do you say that they cannot coexist with modern china?
posted by Treeline at 8:42 PM on November 7, 2003

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