4.10.2008

A Chinese perspective

So yesterday the SF torch run protest was thwarted by the SF officials by changing the route of the run. I know I was all set with my fire extinguisher. I wanted that FLAME GONE!

So protesters on both sides had to miss the stupid burning torch go by and had to find some other way to express their outrage/support of China.

This hit a little closer to home then I expected. I work at a firm that has a partnership with a Chinese firm. Folks from Beijing have been here for a few weeks; we are working on some projects together. I specifically work with a woman who headed down to the ceremony and asked me later what the big deal with Tibet was. She stated China hasn’t done anything to Tibet.

I forwarded her the Wiki page on Tibet and asked her if this information was incorrect. We were using our interoffice IM and I asked if she had seen the footage of Tienanmen Square in 1989. I asked if she knew what happened and she replied that it was against the law to TALK about Tienanmen Square. So I invited her over to my desk and showed her a Youtube clip.

Her response was sort of unexpected. First off she watched it over and over again. It is a Chinese speaking individual narrating the footage. Then she watched the BBC video. I then opened the Wiki page on the topic. She read it and started to cry. She said that they are told something totally different; that the students involved had left the country to study abroad.

The eye opening thing is that the Chinese government apparently REALLY DOES control the media. So the internet as we know it, thanks to Cisco, Yahoo and Google, is not possible in China. Kind of ironic that software and hardware icons of the so liberal Bay Area are contributing to the total ignorance and oppression of 1.3 billion people.

For the Chinese woman I feel sorry that I showed her the footage; ignorance is bliss. For Cisco, Yahoo, Google, and all other information providers that kowtow to the Chinese censors - GFY!

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