4.28.2009

The internet is God's present to China

·On the day he receives a human rights award, a Chinese dissident reveals his gratitude to the web.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6181699.ece
http://ninglundecember.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/arton12133.jpg
Liu Xiaobo
Today there are more than 100 million internet users in China. The Chinese Government is ambivalent towards it. On the one hand, the internet is a tool to make money. On the other, the Communist dictatorship is afraid of freedom of expression.
The internet has brought about the awakening of ideas among the Chinese. This worries the Government, which has placed great importance on blocking the internet to exert ideological control.
In October 1999 I finished three years of jail and returned home. There was a computer there and it seemed that every visiting friend was telling me to use it. I tried a few times but felt that I could not write anything while facing a machine and insisted on writing with a fountain pen. Slowly, under the patient persuasion and guidance of my friends, I got familiar with it and cannot leave it now. As someone who writes for a living, and as someone who participated in the 1989 democracy movement, my gratitude towards the internet cannot be easily expressed.
[...]
The internet has made it easier to obtain information, contact the outside world and submit articles to overseas media. It is like a super-engine that makes my writing spring out of a well. The internet is an information channel that the Chinese dictators cannot fully censor, allowing people to speak and communicate, and it offers a platform for spontaneous organisation.
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