Thursday, July 07, 2005

China Fears the Internet

A recent CNN news article Beijing clinic ministers to online addicts caught my eye. The Chinese clinic treats youngsters that are addicted to the Internet. It was reported that "They are suffering from depression, nervousness, fear and unwillingness to interact with others, panic and agitation. They also have sleep disorders, the shakes and numbness in their hands."

I knew that the Chinese are interested in more than the mental health of their young people. I read further to see if the news article would mention China's hostility toward the Internet, putting the news in perspective. No, the Associated Press reporter, working in Beijing, was probably fed a press release from the Chinese authorities, putting a 'politically correct' Chinese spin on the report.

The Chinese, like all other Communist nations, have always tried to control the information available to their citizens. That is why it has been necessary to smuggle Bibles into China. And the Internet, although needed for China to catch up with modern technology, is seen by the Communists as a threat. In recent years, the Chinese authorities have been installing equipment to filter the Chinese connections to the Internet.

For example, see the report Empirical Analysis of Internet Filtering in China where "The authors are collecting data on the methods, scope, and depth of selective barriers to Internet access through Chinese networks." A sample of web sites blocked by the Chinese filtering equipment includes:
  • Asian American Baptist Church
  • Association of Christian Community Computer Centers
  • American Cancer Society - Northern California Chinese Unit
  • AltaVista - The Search Company
  • Amnesty International USA - Defending and Promoting Human Rights Worldwide
  • Center for Anti-Communism
  • Russian Christian Orthodox church in Boston USA
  • Christian Academy in Japan
  • Defend AMERICA - US Department of Defense News About The War on Terrorism
  • The Free Methodist Church in Canada - MAIN PAGE
  • Integrity Episcopal Church
  • The Truth in America Project
  • Voice of America
For more, see Sites Blocked in China - Highlights

The concern of the Chinese Communists is more than political -- it is idealogically hostile to Christianity. (See, for example, Chinese Christians Sentenced to Death and Unable to stop the house church movement, they have attempted to control religion by government-controlled 'religious' organizations such as the Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM).

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