China shuts political websites in crackdown

Apr 06, 2012
Two Chinese political websites say they have been ordered by authorities to shut for a month for criticising state leaders, the latest move in a broad government crackdown on the Internet.

Two Chinese political websites said Friday they had been ordered by authorities to shut for a month for criticising state leaders, the latest move in a broad government crackdown on the Internet.

Officials told the Mao Flag website, named after late leader Mao Zedong, and the Utopia website, also known for a leftist political stance, to close for "rectification", the websites said in separate announcements.

Authorities said their postings had "maliciously attacked state leaders" and given "absurd views" about politics, according to statements posted on the websites.

Those statements, dated Friday, were later removed. The operators could not be reached for comment and content on the sites was unavailable.

The latest moves come after a surge in groundless online rumours in China, including about a coup led by security chief Zhou Yongkang, following the March dismissal of rising political star Bo Xilai.

Two other sites, China Elections and April Youth, also appeared to be shut on Friday for what the operators claimed was maintenance and staff holidays, they said in separate microblog postings.

The Utopia website was a supporter of the policies of Bo, who was removed as Communist Party chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing in mid-March.

During his time in the city, he ran a hardline crackdown on crime and a populist Maoist revival campaign that included singing patriotic songs, which was praised by Utopia.

China launched a sweeping Internet crackdown last week, highlighting official unease ahead of a leadership transition later this year.

Authorities have shutdown 16 websites, arrested six people and slapped temporary curbs on two popular microblog services, preventing users from posting comments.

, which has the world's largest online population with over half a billion users, has long blocked content it deems politically sensitive as part of a vast censorship system known as the Great Firewall.

But the rise of social media, in particular Twitter-like microblogs, have proved more difficult to control and have become a popular outlet for expressing discontent towards the government.

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Lurker2358
3 / 5 (2) Apr 06, 2012
So let's see if I understand this properly.

The leftist, communist government actually blocked the websites of a leftist communist organisation, which was apparently more leftist than themselves?

Does this mean China is becoming more centrist?

I think they really need some form of representative government, regardless of their political and economic theory. They have a republic of just 9 members on the ruling "senate", for a population of like 1.5 billion.

Can you imagine if just nine people had all Judicial, Legislative, and Executive power in the U.S.? That would be scary.
Kinedryl
not rated yet Apr 06, 2012
Actually only two, if you recalculate it to the number of USA inhabitants...
Kinedryl
not rated yet Apr 06, 2012
bredmond
1 / 5 (1) Apr 06, 2012
So let's see if I understand this properly.

The leftist, communist government actually blocked the websites of a leftist communist organisation, which was apparently more leftist than themselves?

Does this mean China is becoming more centrist?

No, no, no. No matter what the name of the government, the reality is that China is a huge marketplace with a dominant central player. they are held together by two things: central authority and a particular homogenous culture. that culture has the following distinct features: bureaucracy, hierarchy, enterprise. those are the distinct features of china. strong feelings of national identity keep people together while they further develop a market infrastructure. confucian norms from two thousand years of history help maintain an attitude of piety to superiors. chinese society is naturally business oriented. they wish eachother good wealth on their biggest holiday. we wish happiness on ours.
Distributed Intelligence
4 / 5 (1) Apr 07, 2012
It's inappropriate for western news media, blogs, and especially individuals to parrot "official" Chinese political propaganda. The Chinese ruling party has no shame flexing its totalitarian might. The only time a corrupt government cracks down on "rumors" is when they are true. There is too much energy being expended on these reports for it to be nonsense. There is also too much corroborating evidence to dismiss them. We are talking about a totalitarian state, folks, it's not a mysterious transaction taking place here.

China is not a homogeneous state. It is made up of many languages and many regional nationalities, all with ancient histories of their own that often include warring with the other regions. Chinese unity is a party myth, fueled by media propaganda and the truth is far from it.
bredmond
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
China is not a homogeneous state. It is made up of many languages and many regional nationalities, all with ancient histories of their own that often include warring with the other regions. Chinese unity is a party myth, fueled by media propaganda and the truth is far from it.


right, i get it. but there is a RELATIVE homogenity in the culture. I know they are very regional, and often criticize other areas in china. I know the northerns and southerners are different, and the easterners and westerners are different. but there is a shared history and spreading of customs that has developed for thousands of years. The written language for the most part is universal, though the grammar and preference of words varies. They are mostly Han Chinese, and by mostly i mean like 97-99%. I dont think the Chinese unity is a myth. I think it is fueled by propaganda, but not a myth. can you elaborate on how it is a myth?
Tennex
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
I don't think the Chinese unity is a myth.
Well, at least Tibet is considered as a rather independence province of China - both politically, both historically. The Inner Mongolia is not be demographically uniform as well, as the Mongolian lead the wars with China in history too. But just these areas are rich of strategical raw materials (uranium in Tibet, rare earth metals in Inner Mongolia) - so I don't expect, the rest of China will allow their separation willingly. Until these provinces will remain poor, they will serve as an inner colonies for the rest of China.
bredmond
not rated yet Apr 07, 2012
how is that a response to the quote of my text? What is your point anyway? Inner Mongolia has mostly Han also.

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