China’s blog blockade – an update

Rebecca MacKinnon has been told the following blog hosting services are now blocked in China:

She also has written an absolutely damning post on Cisco and its collusion with the CCP in the architecture of its suppression machinery. If you truly believe Cisco didn’t know exactly what it was selling to China, you had better read this. Unbelievable. (Warning: it’s a long and complex story.)

Finally and most importantly, Rebecca has posted a series of questions, in English and Chinese that she is hoping “Chinese and China-based bloggers” can help her to answer. If you qualify, please head over there and help her out.

The Discussion: 6 Comments

If she wants answers to those questions, she’s going to have to post them somewhere where us China-based bloggers can read them. Last I checked, most Typepad blogs were open, but I still can’t get through to hers. And proxies are getting less and less reliable.

July 1, 2005 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

She has the same post copied here — hope you can access it in China!

July 1, 2005 @ 10:18 pm | Comment

This is an article I wrote for my school magazine set up by students. I’m posting it here because with the mere two comments you’ve accumulated thus far for this post, it will make it look much longer. Sorry for the length…

Censorship at our School

The week after Microsoft banned words such as “freedom,” “democracy” and “human rights” on its free online journals in China, I think it’s instructive to show how the government’s disregard for its own constitution is putting students’ education at risk at our school.
Believe it or not, under Article 35, “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.” That is certainly true for my students if I as an history teacher wish to teach them about how the Anglo-French forces burned down the summer palace in the 19th century (provided I don’t explain what had provoked them to do so in the first place). However, if I was to teach the prescribed section for the DP concerning China, I would be hard-pressed to find the material to compare such a singular act with the countless palaces, temples, monuments, and lives which were destroyed forever during the Cultural Revolution, the architect of which has his image gracing the gate leading into the Forbidden City and every note on the Chinese currency. As a geography teacher I was reckless enough to teach another banned topic: the Great Leap Forward, where in 3 years the equivalent of Canada’s population was wiped out through arrogance and incompetence. At least 30 million dead in 3 years! Such recklessness paid off however when, for the 2004 final exam, the very first question specifically referred to it. If the authorities had had their way, the students would have been purposely kept ignorant and therefore outside of this country would have struggled to pass paper 1. To teach anything other than glowing praise of the 3 Gorges Dam is strictly prohibited despite the fact that to question and test information is necessary in a Western-based educational system rather than simply parroting what is told. Here I find that it is better to mindlessly state that Mao was 70 % right and not bother to consider how such a number was reached, or how killing more of one’s own people than any foreign powers since Genghis Khan merits only a 30% deduction in a country’s estimation. In the history taught here, the people’s lives are not worthy enough to be remembered or commemorated (especially if they are peasants) unless rabid blood-crazed foreigners were responsible. To teach my students of how the Japanese killed 15 million over 60 years previously is approved by the government (especially again if the peasants are getting restless). But in doing so without putting such things in perspective by comparing ‘incidents’ such as Nanjing with other ‘incidents’ within one’s own lifetime, are teachers not complicit in helping carry out a nationwide campaign of hatred? Would we therefore not be hypocrites for putting up IB mission statements for students to read while not reflecting on our own role?

Consider another example of how every time the authorities see fit to block foreign websites from the school’s computers you as a students is affected (and not simply in being unable to contact family via hotmail). In IB5 I teach the Korean War. To compare what I teach and what my Chinese friends have learned at school, one would think we were referring to two separate events. For them the Korean War of course was the Anti-American Imperialist War where China fought the evil US and its allies in a spirit of solidarity with its poor and defenceless North Korean ally. Strangely, no Chinese history book sees fit to mention that it was the poor North that attacked the South, but chooses instead to state how through the war, China became the first country to force the US to give up. (And I thought it was the war of 1812 after the British army managed to burn down the White House….) So adamant was one of my friends that the anti-American Imperialist War had been a failure for the Americans and a triumph for a China that defeated foreigners for the first time since the Opium Wars that she was unable to respond after I asked if that was the case, why was the peninsula still divided with the North a complete basket-case and the south a thriving economy? “The US and Commonwealth forces went in to get North Korea out of the South. They succeeded, didn’t they?”

The IB is certainly one of the most demanding high school curricula for students to complete. To do so without having a better knowledge of our world and of ourselves simply because others outside see fit to deny it would be to waste such an effort and lesson the achievement.

July 2, 2005 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

Thanks, richard, that link works.

July 2, 2005 @ 7:57 pm | Comment

Keir, that is a great comment. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

July 3, 2005 @ 2:29 pm | Comment

Be sure to add to the list. I can’t get there from here….
I just started a website for my students here in Gunagdong…
Literally put it together today so don;t expect much…I am going to put up a host of political cartoons…I have a connect at MSN…I use them ostensibly to teach vocabulary and idioms…
I had to put it on a local server because the school bans ALL traffic to foreign sites…
I really appreciate the above post…
Damned shame…

August 28, 2005 @ 7:30 am | Comment

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