The internet in China revisited. I wrote a blog a few weeks ago about my trials in trying to sign-up for a domain and server service and other problems with blocked sites in China. This time around I want to focus on the major part of Chinese internet blocking, the “news”.
One of the top news stories in recent days has been that of Bloomberg having all its sites and services blocked. The story caused a ripple of fear to reverberate through the party for reasons that are really simple and quite apparent here but which, as usual, the world probably doesn’t quite understand. All that Bloomberg published was readily accessible public record, a record I assume the government of China has made public, so why the crackdown? Well, it’s quite simple, it’s negative news. Negative news was banned a month ago and for Chinese authorities, that means news published in the outside world as well.
The reason the news is negative is because it feeds into the correct public perception here in China that the so-called “Communist” leaders are in fact the masters of capital and the enemy of a socialist state. Most Chinese alive today grew up learning about the “joys” of the proletariat revolution and the evils of the capitalist system, but this ideology is mostly dead and the real cause for grief amongst the Chinese public is that they are not benefiting, or benefiting enough from Deng’s reforms. Clearly The Party is the largest benefactor in new China today and the elite want this knowledge to be held as far away from the common man as possible. Ignorance is bliss, and the CCP, if it does anything well, knows how to keep the vast majority of Chinese blissfully ignorant. Bloomberg is just the latest casualty in China’s fight against the truth.
The Commies run China under a veil of secrecy for a very good reason, mainly; if Chinese people even knew 10% of the truth concerning the mafia running this country, they’d revolt. Actually they often do revolt which brings me to the second reason for China’s internet and general information control (foreign news broadcasts are often censored too). China is one of the most civil strife ridden nations on the planet. It is estimated that at least 200,000 mass protests and riots occur here each year. If you’re counting, that’s less than what has toppled regimes in the Middle East. Recently, last week actually, there was a large scale 3 day riot in the southern Chinese city of Shaxi. Not one Chinese blog site, news broadcast, or newspaper reported it. Three days and millions of workers rioting and not a blip on the Chinese news radar. The censorship of such events is so severe that probably a good percentage of people in Shaxi never knew it happened. The only way we know it happened is because a BBC reporter happened to be there.
If you go to the site I linked to above you’ll and watch the video you’ll hear the reporter saying that China wants to hide these events from the world, but this is plainly not true. They want to hide it from Chinese people because the leadership is so small, elite, unsupported, and generally despised by Chinese people, that reporting such news would take the country like wild fire. After 1989 China lost all its face and can never hide from the world, but sometimes it’s shocking living here. Twice in the past few years there have been large scale protests and all out riots within kilometers of my home and yet there was very very little and usually no information at all available online or anywhere else.
Besides public figures, XiJinPing, the next CCP overlord destined to profit from running this country and running amok over human rights, for example, is the latest blocked search in China. Imagine that, a country where one cannot even search for its politicians by name! That’s China. Another politician one cannot search by name here is BoXiLai, the Chongching party boss who was more clever and corrupt than the run-of-the-mill Commies running this country and tried to benefit at The Party’s expense. That earned him a jail cell and probably a bullet sooner or later. Although the great smear across The Party’s reputation in China is often cited as the reason why he is a censored person here, the real reason is that his story shows how week The Party is. How strong can a party be if one of its lower members is tapping the phones of the country’s president and CCP chairman? Not very strong. The story of Bo is dangerous in China because, in addition to the rapid corruption in Party ranks it exposes, it shows how feeble The Party rule is. When they cannot control one of their own, just how well can they control a billion or so impoverished peasants in the world’s most populous nation? Sooner or later we’ll find out.
China is at a very precarious place in its modern development as far as The Party is concerned. After DengXiaoPeng “opened up” or “sold out” China, the basic legitimacy of The Party brainwashed into the heads of the masses by Mao and his criminal cronies was irrevocably damaged, if not lost altogether. I remember in my younger, wilder, and drunker days being invited to a high ranking official’s daughters going away party. I was seated at a table with a bunch of generals, cadres, and others connected with The Party. After playing the customary drinking games and having a little too much Baijiu, one of the generals at the table dressed in his military uniform asked me what I thought of “New China”, Deng’s China”? “you ought to be ashamed to call yourselves “communist””, I blurted out. “Mao is rolling over in his mausoleum as we speak. You’ve forgotten Marx and you’ve forgotten Mao. China is nothing but a sell-out to the West.” Naturally they were all quite eager to hear what they thought was a bunch a face building bullshit and they convinced my reluctant girlfriend, the daughter of two other officials seated at the table, to translate, which she did. Not more than 5 minutes later we were making a hasty retreat and her parents did not look happy. To keep it short, I was in deep shit, but I was right.
What upset the grinning idiots seated at the table was that I was right and what I said is still true today. Millions and millions of Chinese are forcefully evicted each year so governments can sell their land to government connected developers who will then sell the developments to more government connected buyers. Normal Chinese are basically banned from taking more than 50k rmb a year out of China while the children and other relatives of government officials live lavish lives overseas requiring far more money than the law allows. Common people here have their houses bulldozed and with them, their livelihoods tilling the soil destroyed, while government officials take over state-owned companies and drive housing prices through the roof at home and abroad. Normal people in Chinese cities like Shanghai and Beijing are forced to breathe toxic air while Party members live and work in filtered atmospheres and claim the air isn’t dirty. Chinese consumers forced to poison themselves on tainted food suffer while The Party has its food grown on special out of bounds organic farms. And the list goes on and on.
Side Note: Internet Rumors (China NewSpeak for “The Truth” are illegal in China, so in the hope of starting a real rumor (not China NewSpeak), I bring you this:
Hu JinTao is a Klingon! Here’s the proof:
The Internet, as you can plainly see is the key venue for disseminating this face losing information about the party, and that’s why it is controlled so tightly. It’s all about “image management” for the sake of the peasants at home. China doesn’t give flying fuck about what other countries in the west think. They know for sure that Western Nations know how truly horrendous they really are, it’s the angry peasants with pitch-forks at home that haunt their dreams. Internet censorship in China is one of the main tools used for The Party to continue its existence and for the criminals in charge to keep their big ugly heads.