China: Blocking "Egypt" References

From Slashdot.

China has blocked the word 'Egypt' from the country's wildly popular Twitter-like service, while coverage of the political turmoil has been tightly restricted in state media.

China's ruling Communist Party is sensitive to any potential source of social unrest.

A search for 'Egypt'' on the Sina microblogging service brings up a message saying,

The service has more than 50 million users. News on the Egypt protests has been limited to a few paragraphs and photos buried inside major news websites, but China Central Television had a report on its midday broadcast. China's Foreign Ministry did not respond to a request for comment on the events in Egypt."

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  • Guest - Jerry Leonard

    I am in Lanzhou, Gansu province, an English teacher at a university. Until yesterday evening (Jan. 29) the TV news was showing nothing about the unrest in Egypt. Now they only show a few photos of Mubarak, but no footage of the streets.

  • Guest - Stiofan O'Buadhaigh

    After the events in Tunisia began, there was an outpouring of positive comments on Chinese sites with some featuring the Tunisian flag and advancing slogans such as "Long live the Tunisian people." It appears the regime is afraid of the internationalism of its own people.

  • Guest - David_D

    The Chinese media are covering it in some ways similarly to how it covered the east European events of 1989 - in a restrained fashion. There is definitely coverage though. The US media cannot stop blatantly editorializing throughout every single report, while the Chinese media are not doing so.

    Blocking of online communications involving "Egypt" is probably consistent with past practices of attempting to avoid communications that could foment a "color revolution" type event. The Chinese strategy is clearly to avert such events prior to their maturation. It certainly "makes sense," from the perspective of maintaining power. NGOs, "civil society," and "human rights activists" aren't allowed to do as they please.

    China's government is actually implementing its stated principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs. I'm sure within the Communist Party there are some papers being circulated articulating the events and their implications for China and the Communist Party. I'm sure the conclusion is reinforcing its stated general program of taking economic development as the main task and preserving social stability at all costs.