Selective Search Blocking

07 Nov 2002

A while back I wrote about how China blocked Google and it was driving me crazy. Later, it was unblocked, but it was widely reported that China has some very sophisticated technology in place that causes you to lose connection if you run certain seaches. This morning I was doing a search for a picture of a famous Chinese leader. At first it was fine, but soon the links to the pics stopped working, and then Google itself became inaccessible, and then nothing would load. Fortunately everything works fine now. But internet censorship is very much in effect here still.

Related to the above is the fact that tomorrow the CCP convenes for its 16th party congress. Now, I’m well aware how boring politics is for many of us, but this meeting is significant. There have been only three main leaders of Communist China: Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and you-know-who*. Tomorrow it is widely believed that you-know-who will step down, and a new guy will take his place. In the past, each new leader has represented a new direction for China. So it’s an exciting time.

You may find it hard to get excited about Chinese politics. I don’t blame you. Still, you should read this article. It got me excited. China is in for big changes, and I really believe it’s for the better. Communism in China is probably not what you think it is. And it’s becoming even less so. Get ready.

* I don’t want to invite the possibility of censorship, so I’m avoiding the specific, currently very sensitive name.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

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