Frightened Chinese Communists Block More Search Terms…Including Name of U.S. Ambassador
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Concerned that anti-government protests like those in North Africa and the Middle East might erupt in their country, Chinese authorities clamped further down on Internet access and singled out the U.S. ambassador for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Having already blocked access to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the government temporarily added LinkedIn to the list of unacceptable social-networking websites. The ban began after a user created a discussion group called “Jasmine Voice” which raised the issue of a “jasmine revolution” in China. This was the term used to refer to the successful pro-democracy movement in Tunisia.
Jasmine organizers called for silent protests in Wangfujing, a popular commercial pedestrian area of central Beijing. Few protesters answered the call, owing to the significant number of police that were deployed in the area.
But American ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. did show up and engaged citizens in conversation before police identified him and demanded to know what he was up to, asking: “Do you want to see chaos in China?”
Huntsman left the area without trouble. But a short while later his name joined the list of terms blocked from searches on popular Chinese micro-blogging sites, along with the names “Tunisia,” “Egypt”, “jasmine” and…”Hillary Clinton.” The U.S. secretary of state was targeted because she gave a speech vowing to fight Internet censorship.
Nervous About Unrest, Chinese Authorities Block Web Site, Search Terms (by Keith Richburg, Washington Post)
Ambassador's Name Blocked (by Ding Xiao, Radio Free Asia)
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