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    » 03/25/2009, 00.00

    CHINA

    Chinese bloggers protest blocking of YouTube



    The internet is teeming with satirical videos criticizing the ideal of the "harmonious society" promoted by President Hu Jintao. Beijing is blocking satirical videos, and says the images of the beating of Tibetan monks by the police are a "lie." Blocking of YouTube confirmed.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Chinese bloggers have reacted with outrage to the new internet censorship campaign organized by Beijing. Yesterday, the Chinese government blocked the site YouTube without providing any explanations. The authorities have also blocked a form of ironic protest launched by internet users, mocking the recent campaign "against pornography" and the "immoral" sites present on the web.

    According to the new guidelines published in forums, chat rooms, and other social networks, internet service providers must block the spread of a "mythical" creature, the grass-mud horse. It resembles an alpaca, one of the two species of camelid found throughout South America, which has become popular among Chinese internet users as a symbol of resistance against censorship by the regime. The name grass-mud horse - caonima, in Chinese - sounds like an epithet used to insult another person's mother. On the internet, on YouTube and other sites, a rap video is proliferating in which the cǎoníma must fight "against the invasion of river crabs" and free itself from the pressure imposed by government propaganda promoted by President Hu Jintao, who is calling for a "harmonious society." Through the use of music, animation, and a language that is by turns ironic, obscene, and irreverent, the creators denounce the abuses by the government and the repeated violations of human rights.

    According to a statement released in recent days by the communications department of the city of Deyang, "all words referring to the 'caonima' must be removed from the internet." Chinese internet users are calling the new government censorship campaign "a new invasion of river crabs." Many others are comparing the Communist Party to the first Qin emperor [the despot Qin Shihuang], who unified China in 256 B.C.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese government continues to block YouTube, a measure held to be "necessary" in order to prevent the spread of certain videos viewed unfavorably by the government. These include an incident that took place in the seas to the south of the country, between Chinese fishing boats and an American navy ship, and images of Chinese soldiers beating Tibetan monks. Today, an official statement came from Beijing, calling the video on the web "a lie."

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    See also

    12/03/2008 TIBET - CHINA - INDIA
    Tibet, thousands of police break up protest by monks
    About two thousand policemen, in riot gear, launched tear gas against a group of monks asking for the liberation of some of their fellow monks. In New Delhi, Tibetan women commemorate the massacre of 1959.

    23/02/2009 TIBET - CHINA
    Chinese authorities blocking internet for celebration of Tibetan New Year
    Already closed to foreign visitors, the region is increasingly isolated from the world. Beijing is massing troops in the zone, ready to repress any protest.

    25/07/2008 CHINA
    China overtakes U.S. with world's largest internet community
    There were 253 million Chinese internet users as of June 30, compared with 223.1 million in the United States. The web is widely used for business, shopping, and education, but above all to receive news that is often censored by the authorities. Strict control by Beijing, which arrests those who criticize the government and blocks unwelcome news.

    03/10/2009 CHINA
    In Xinjiang it is a crime to even talk of separatism
    A law is approved that punishes those who discuss it on the internet. Three months after the protests, Urumqi remains occupied by police and subjected to tight controls.

    10/01/2009 CHINA
    China, new crackdown on the web. Blog site closed
    Bullog.cn, founded in 2006 by Luo Yonghao, has been blocked because it gathered "dangerous" information on Chinese "political and current affairs." In recent days, 41 sites have been blocked for presenting content that is allegedly vulgar and contrary to morality. Closure also threatened for Google, Baidu, MySpace, and MSN.



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