Beijing Newspeak

Beijing Newspeak is a new blog about China written by a foreign journalist working as a sub-editor for state-owned news agency Xinhua. He seems a little more willing to spill the dirt than Positive Solutions, another foreign blogger who works at the state-owned China Daily.

There are currently 5 Comments for Beijing Newspeak.

Comments on Beijing Newspeak

Looks like it's blocked already - it won't load for me in Beijing, but it works fine with a proxy. Reading his latest post, I can't say I'm surprised.

Works in the States...

Sigh, the international game goes on...

Thanks for the link!

No problem reading it on my ISP at home, or on a different ISP at work. Can't see any reason why it would be blocked. The censors don't bother with this kind of thing in English.

There's been speculation going around about why blogspot and typepad are blocked, then available, then livejournal and wordpress can't be reached anymore here. I've got no more idea than anyone else, but I've always suspected that the censors are aiming for disruption rather than all out banning - to nudge people in the direction of permanently available domestic companies like Sina who do their own censoring.

Cat's comment seems somewhat misdirected, as with his previous comment on internet censorship regarding the website of Ani Tenzin Palmo, in which he challenged why the site should be blocked based on its content, when it is far more likely that the server hosting the site was blocked due to content on other sites.

As far as I can see, Occam's razor doesn't cut in the direction of a coordinated campaign by PRC authorities to 'nudge' people toward 'permanently available domestic companies'. Instead, I recommend looking first at internal bureaucratic factors. Switching every few months from blocking one set of websites to another is just like shuffling papers - it offers lazy bureaucrats a way to make motions as though they are doing something without actually doing anything. Not only is this type of behavior common in bureaucratic institutions, but anyone who knows China knows that many - if not most - staff in businesses and government offices work, whenever possible, for themselves rather than their employers, often at the direct expense of the latter.

Alternatively, certain officials arbitrarily block and unblock access simply because they can. This might seem senseless, but arbitrary use of power is commonplace. I'm sure we can all think of examples.

This is not to say there are no ideologues behind visible patterns of PRC internet censorship; just that peculiar patterns such as the repeated opening and closing of certain servers or sites may well have their own internal logic that has little or nothing to do with their content and/or users.

We are often simply victims of someone else's activities, and it would be conceited of us to script ourselves a more central role in their agenda.

Shuffling papers is certainly as valid an explanation as any other, though I think a search for a grand unifying theory would never reach its goal. I should say that my reference to the content of Ani Tenzin Palmo's website as a reason for it being blocked was tongue in cheek - sorry for any confusion.

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