CCP makes the Xinjiang block airtight

Don’t miss the very interesting follow up post to the story I linked to directly below. Seems the Party was just one step behind the Far West blogger, ready to plug any annoying leaks.

I had it coming, I guess. Less than 48 hours after I published an article about the internet situation in Xinjiang (including a short sentence about the ability to circumvent the block), every single internet and phone loophole across the province suddenly stopped working. Obviously it is most likely a coincidence, but I’m beginning to feel guilty when I get concerned calls from other foreigners asking me if my ability to access the internet has been disabled as well.

As I sit here in a hotel room in Shanghai, soaking up what may be the last ounce of internet I see until February, I find myself struggling with what is happening back in Xinjiang. A lively discussion on the ethics of this internet block took place over at the Peking Duck and although I find it interesting I’m glad I didn’t get the chance to enter the debate. [From Richard: I’m glad as well, for your sake. Life’s too short.]

The fact is that I moved to Xinjiang knowing full-well that I was subjugating myself to China’s laws and leadership. I don’t feel that I have the right to complain (although I do reserve the right to remain frustrated!) and I definitely don’t feel like packing up and calling it quits. I refuse to let the internet dictate my life no matter how important

Best of all is the quote he includes at the very end. This wall is about as effective at “protecting” the Chinese people as that other, more famous wall. Great post, once again.

Any commenter who comes on here and argues the GFW is proof of the CCP’s genious because they’re just using it, successfully, to protect China’s citizens from computer viruses and malware does so at their own risk. Please, can’t you come up with something better than that?


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 66 Comments

There is no absolute peace in this world. There are always conflicts. Qianlong emperor fought Uighur separatists; Qing General Zuo Zongtang did the same after that; Communist General Wang Zhen followed them more recently. The more you fight, the stronger you become.

Nowadays China has the ethnic policy no worse than any other nation has. Out of 55 ethnic minorities, you can only find separatist movements in two of them and in DPP of Taiwan. This is a great achievement and Chinese people should be proud. It will not take long to crush these three groups of separatists and finish the job left from the late Qing dynasty.

When we eat General Zuo’s chicken (or General Tso’s chicken) today, we honor a hero that defended our nation a hundred years ago. His children will not hesitate to follow in his footsteps.

December 22, 2009 @ 3:23 am | Comment


December 22, 2009 @ 3:25 am | Comment

I wonder about the nature of these minorities.

Are they real minorities, or actually they were… minoritirized?

December 22, 2009 @ 5:19 am | Comment

Te ha salido de lo mas profundo, eh serve?
(aprox translation: you got it out of your deepest self)

December 22, 2009 @ 5:25 am | Comment

Well, Serve just provided a perfect illustration of the problem, I gotta give him that.

December 22, 2009 @ 7:48 am | Comment

I hope he’s joking. He has to be joking, no?

December 22, 2009 @ 8:12 am | Comment

I think he is not.

So much nationalism since tender childhood…. a nice sample case.

The question is who benefits from this nationalism, the country or the party?

And what are the real ulterior motives of it?

I have nothing against love for ones own country and patriotism. But nationalism…. nationalism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Patriots love their country, nationalist just hate other countries/people.

December 22, 2009 @ 3:16 pm | Comment

Before you think I am all CCP, let me first say that this Xinjiang Internet restriction is not a good idea. I can understand that the government uses it as a convenient method to cut the communication of the separatists. It reminds me of the policies that the government used during the H1N1 crisis. Make no mistake. Such approaches are effective. Many people are now praising China for using draconian methods to deal with H1N1. But I prefer a more relax approach. It is more important to maintain a free society. Separatists may take advantage of freedom, but free people are strong people. They can take a few punches, and fight back with more force and determination.

On appeasing separatists. This simply does not work. Every time you send them a gift bag, every time you offer a gesture, they perceive it as your weakness. This has happened time and again with the Dalai. When the 10th Panchen Lama died in 1989, China invited the Dalai to attend his funeral in Beijing. Not only the Dalai turned down the invitation, he went to the European Parliament to propose his Roadmap to Independence. Compassion does not work with this man. The only thing he understands is force, naked, raw force. And this is what he will get.

December 22, 2009 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

“Compassion does not work with this man. The only thing he understands is force, naked, raw force. And this is what he will get.”

preceded by …

“Before you think I am all CCP …”

Is it OK for us to think that you’re CCP now? Or do you want us to wait for a few minutes?

December 23, 2009 @ 7:47 am | Comment


Here’s the thing: the people who will succeed the DL are wayyy more hard-line — I am not talking about his successor as Dalai Lama but the younger Tibetan nationalists — you saw what happened when they had more of a hand in the protests last year.

If the Chinese government is smart, they will work with the current Dalai Lama, who has said very clearly that Tibet is a part of China, while they still can. Because the people who come after him are much less likely to start from that point.

December 23, 2009 @ 8:31 am | Comment

One of Mao’s favorite strategies is Lure the Snake Out of Its Hole (引蛇出洞). Let the separatist show his true face. It will be even easier for China to whack him.

December 23, 2009 @ 4:37 pm | Comment

Oh, Serve, Serve, Serve. Next you’re going to be killing the chicken to frighten the monkey, or whatever. Better cliches, please.

December 23, 2009 @ 5:14 pm | Comment


One of Mao’s favorite strategies is Lure the Snake Out of Its Hole (引蛇出洞). Let the separatist show his true face. It will be even easier for China to whack him.

Oh my. Mao didn’t use his underhand and vicious tactic against the separatists. He used it against the intellectuals who criticized him during the Hundred Flowers Campaign.

The CCP simply lacked the wisdom that Shu Han chancellor Zhuge Liang had almost two thousand years ago. When dealing with the Nanman 南蠻,i.e. southern minority tribes, Zhuge Liang knew that brute force alone wouldn’t solve anything in the long run.

December 25, 2009 @ 4:42 am | Comment

Qianlong emperor fought Uighur separatists; Qing General Zuo Zongtang did the same after that; Communist General Wang Zhen followed them more recently. The more you fight, the stronger you become.

Ironically, these three people you mentioned had to face rebellions by the Chinese people themselves.

Under Qianlong, there were still calls for 反清復明 and in the later years there was the White Lotus Rebellion which was Chinese revolt against the Manchus.

Zuo Zongtong had to suppress the widespread anti-Manchu “Taiping Heavenly Kingdom” instigated by mainly leaders of the Han Chinese ethnicity.

Wang Zhen was PRC Vice-President during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. In the Tiananmen Papers, he was quoted saying, “…If it(the crackdown) causes deaths, that’s their own fault. We can’t be soft or merciful toward anti-Party, anti-socialist elements”

All these people you mentioned had Chinese blood on their hands. I wonder if how “patriotic” you really are and how much you “love” your fellow country mean when you adore these people so much.

December 25, 2009 @ 5:03 am | Comment

Anti-Human, China’s Attack upon Islam-Killing of a Muslim Man?

Is China’s action by this execution an Attack upon Human civilization, upon Humane conduct,

upon Human values, an ATTACK upon the rest of us?

As a result of this ‘Barbaric Act’ is China no longer a World player? Has China failed to

evolve into the principals and values of the 21st century? What message are you sending out

to the rest of the World, China?
Is the death by lethal injection of a mentally ill British Muslim man, Mr.Akmal Shaikh (aged

53) by China, a anti-Islamist and anti-Muslimist act, anti-Christian act, anti-Human act?
Clearly, by the conduct of Mr. Shaikh’s past actions we can conclude that, this man was

suffering from a mental condition. Clearly, he was duped and deceived by evil persons into

entering China with a suitcase full of drugs. No experienced person within drug trafficking

would have acted in such a manner, for fear of discovery. Chinese officials would have

known this, they are experienced in such matters from past experiences and, had known the

pattern used by such criminals and that, Mr.Akmal Shaikh did not fit such a pattern. There

was no previous history of Drugs (taking or trafficking) by this man.

This would have been known by not only those Chinese border control police but also by the
Chinese judiciary and also by the ruling political leaders of China. The British embassy,

British Foreign Office ministers, Prime Minister Gordon Brown made 27 Appeals for Clemency

from the execution of this individual but, China did not want to listen. Mr. Gordon Brown

did not make a direct appeal to the Chinese Premier for Clemency, why?
Why did NOT the leaders of other EU countries make a direct appeal for mercy , for CLEMENCY

to the Chinese Premier? By failing to act re Clemency, are these EU leaders also guilty of

being anti-Muslimist, anti-Christian, anti-Humane? Were these (EU leaders) by their

reasoning and failure to act, influenced by trade and financial implications with China, at

the expense of Justice, at the expense of a Human life?

What was China’s reason to pick upon this innocent, confused Muslim man? What was China’s

motive, reasons for this ‘barbaric act on a man who was incompetent’ this unnecessary loss

of a human life? What was China’s reason to pick upon such a lowly and impoverished

The only logical reason was that China wanted to make an example of this Muslim man. China

wanted to send out a message to the World. So what was, is China’s message, to appease the

USA leaders re Muslims and/or were the motives really to do with drug trafficking? Was the

motive, to send a message, via the execution of this man that, China is anti-Muslim?

America (USA) due to their financial burden was already beholden (US deficit) to China thus

the Chinese leaders knew that there would not be any condemnation from the Obama (US)

administration. Thus, China went ahead with the ‘murder’ of this Muslim man…

December 31, 2009 @ 4:52 am | Comment

To those that support China’s censorship: How do you access this site?

I have to turn on my VPN, otherwise I can’t access it. If you think that China’s internet censorship is needed, then why is it ok for you to get around it and not other Chinese?

January 7, 2010 @ 6:40 pm | Comment

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