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Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Mr. Hu - Tear Down This Firewall
The visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to the United States this week is an ideal moment for a message to be delivered to the Chinese leadership class - that if the Chinese nation wishes to take its place in the international community, it must allow the Chinese people to participate in the global internet community. Currently the Chinese government is trying to operate a national intranet, monitoring and filtering the links between China and the rest of the world with what has been dubbed the "Great Firewall of China", and also monitoring internal content with a force of 30,000 thought-police.

President Hu is very interested in taking advantage of the global marketplace - he is spending a few days in Washington State visiting Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks and is traveling with a large contingent of trade negotiators, hoping to strike billions of dollars of business deals for China. Later in the week he will be heading to the White House to meet President Bush where the message should be that with the free movement of capital and goods in the global marketplace comes an imperative for the free movement of ideas. The people of the world must be able to speak to, and listen to the people of China, and until that happens, relations between our nations cannot develop normally. Lets hope that our president decides to deliver this simple, clear message: Mr. Hu - Tear Down This Firewall!

To track developments on these issues, visit the China Digital Times, a component of the Berkeley China Internet Project.

Human Rights Watch has been advocating on behalf of freedom of expression in China - see here for extensive testimony delivered to Congress regarding the current situation.

Reporter-turned-blogger Rebecca MacKinnon has extensive coverage of, and links to the Chinese blogging community.

Hao Wu, a Chinese citizen and U.S. permanent resident is a documentary filmmaker and blogger pursuing stories relating to human rights abuses in China. He was arrested and has been held without charges since February. Learn more about his case here.

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8 Comments on "Mr. Hu - Tear Down This Firewall"
Very, very interesting one-liner and article.

China cannot become a superpower until they increase personal freedoms. They will never master the innovation economy until then.

Anonymous Anonymous @ Wed Apr 19, 09:34:00 AM EDT  
I completely agree. In the meantime, however, we are fortunate that the internet is so varied and ever changing that China's blocking efforts are fairly easy to get around.




China Law

Blogger ChinaLawBlog @ Wed Apr 19, 10:30:00 AM EDT  
I agree with you. This would be a good moment.

China and Iran are the leading countries in filtering information.

Blogger sugiero @ Wed Apr 19, 02:48:00 PM EDT  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Anonymous @ Wed Apr 19, 03:30:00 PM EDT  
Bo Chen,

If you wish to post a 4600 word comment, do it on your own blog and provide a link.

Blogger Tano @ Wed Apr 19, 05:04:00 PM EDT  
For more on this see the article, "Digital Walls, Digital Holes," on TCS Daily, which explains why the Chinese government's censorship regime is doomed to fail:

http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=041906F

Anonymous Anonymous @ Thu Apr 20, 11:21:00 AM EDT  
It is doubtful that the Bush administration has the political clout to do much about this....China is in a very strong economic position these days and likely smells the blood in the waters of the US economy

Anonymous Texas @ Sun Apr 23, 09:20:00 AM EDT  
I do agree with you stole, this certainly would be a good moment for them as China and Iran are the leading countries in filtering information.. cool stuff!

Mobile Application Development Company - http://www.agileinfoways.com

Blogger Naresh Rana @ Tue May 13, 12:55:00 AM EDT  
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