Great web tool for understanding censorship in China...

Great Firewall of China

I was very intrigued to stumble upon this web service which offers bloggers and web developers a tool for determining if their site's url is blocked by the censors employed by the Chinese Communist Party in an effort to control the information made available to its country's citizens via the internet. I have two primary blogs on which I write frequently about issues of international politics, economics and globalization more generally. This is one of those blogs, and as you can see, it is entirely devoted to my thought and evaluation of all things Chinese.

Naturally, I take great pleasure in receiving feedback from similarly thoughtful and curious Chinese who are moved one way or the other by things that I have written about their country, culture and future as a global superpower. I use Google Analytics to track the visitors to this blog, and one of the features of Google's service is a geographical representation of visitors. I am always excited to see a dot super-imposed over Beijing, or Shanghai, which I have noticed on several occasions on both of my blogs, and I just assumed they represented curious young students of the world like myself. However, when I typed my web addresses into The Great Firewall of China, I was shocked and disappointed to find out that my pages are in fact censored from web searches in China.

I guess that the visits I have received from China must have been individuals working for the state's massive internet censoring armies, which have been rumored to number in the tens of thousands. I cannot imagine what about my opinions are seen to be threatening, or worth censoring, with perhaps the previous criticism I have leveled against these very paranoid and unnecessary actions of the the CCP to retain their fleeting control over a society that deserves the right to express itself freely. Otherwise, I think that I am one of the most aggressively pro-Chinese conservative American bloggers on the internet, and it is too bad that my ideas aren't even available for consumption where they would be most appreciated. I hope there will be a day when the Chinese people are truly brought into the global community and allowed to flourish in the arena of free and open thought.

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Internet forum from People's Daily offers elaborate and engaging glimpse into Chinese perception of US post-9/11 policy...

"Subject: A nation bickering about smoking while Iraq burns"

A discussion forum feed published by a People's Daily blogger named Shanhuang on the day of the US invasion of Iraq that I stumbled upon this evening is full of some very astute and disconcerting thoughts on the US and the priorities of American culture. With the fourth anniversary of "Shock and Awe" passing just yesterday (with little notice since the media is more concerned over the Justice Dept. and the who is Anna Nicole Smith's baby-daddy) this thread provides a voluminous log of the day-to-day and week-to-week sway of the cerebral tides between the different factions that emerged around the world in the post-September 11th world, and has once again set me thinking about the perception of the US in China.

I have written recently on the flawed perception of the Chinese amongst nearly every person within Middle Class America. I fret regularly to my friend Victor about what I feel will be the ultimate determinant of whether or not China and the US will come to a peaceful understanding and cultural diffusion (a la Japan and South Korea)-- the oft overlooked and underestimated possibility that there could arise a jealousy and spite for China across the United States if/when the US loses its economic stranglehold on the global markets.

Political realities and national interests across the Western Hemisphere will undoubtedly result in a unified resistance to the first substantial threat posed it by another civilization in several centuries time. The lack of careful consideration of the how to best manage/balance the Sino-American alliance by the American press (which I will elaborate on in a subsequent post) coupled with a preoccupation with a sensationalized conflict in the Middle East among concerned citizens (a.k.a. voters) is likely to be remembered as the primary catalyst of opportunistic political pandering by politicians who were similarly complacent, or more accurately negligent, in their careful consideration of the countries interests.

An America that exists under the institutions of our founding Republican principles will not, and must not, allow China to establish an alternative political model under the banner of Mao, even if the guiding wisdom which underlies it be rooted in a less draconian code. There are several reasons why I believe this is an indispensable maxim, the least of which is my nostalgia for the greatness of the the colonial founder's experiment. However, the Chinese must also never become a casualty of US domestic politics in the same manner that the Soviet Union became the issue of greatest concern and source of ideological alliances during the bygone, bi-lateral era of the Cold War, because if the Chinese are anything, they are VERY proud (similar to most Americans as this article makes clear).

Consequently, I see the future of Chinese politics (in light of both the China and the United State's long term interests) through the lens of Japan's US-styled (authored) system, which is basically a rotation of leadership of one political party, the LDP, through the occasional polling of the general populace. So essentially, the political realities faced by the US in the far Pacific Rim as they compete in the 21st century global economy have the potential to be at once unified, at least stylistically between the Japanese and Chinese peoples. However, one need not get too close before the glaring differences in lifestyle and social values- as well as the echo's of bitter diplomatic rifts stemming from Japanese aggression at the outset of the 20th century- rush into view and cloud the thoughts of men tasked with forgetting about these issues and getting on with the jobs of making peace and creating wealth.

It is so easy to forget about China these days, as it seems the only region of the world that is worthy of the media's time, well at least the US media. So many thoughts are provoked by just this one statement; thoughts that send the mind irrecoverably into the depths of my political consciousness. With hope, this issue can soon emerge from suppression and regain its importance on the mantle of US foreign policy, in the spot now occupied by the criminal files of radical Islamic terrorists and politicians, where it will soon so apparently belong.