Never laugh faster than China laughs

Written by Julen Madariaga on January 10th, 2009

I got a bit excited last night with my new VPN connection. For a few hours I thought I’d found Democracy in a Box, neatly packaged in a 40$ yearly subscription. I have been since exploring new horizons.

Today, second day using VPN I’ve had 2 surprises, one good and one bad:

  • The good one was to discover that I could finally connect to the Time China Blog.
  • The bad one was the first article I read in this excellent blog, containing the paragraph:

Today a prominent mainland blog site,, was blocked, which may also be connected to Chrter 08. A few of the liberal outlet’s bloggers wrote about the document, and at least four signed it. I spoke briefly with Bullog founder Luo Yonghao this afternoon. He said he wasn’t sure why the site was blocked, and wouldn’t speculate on a Chrter 08 connection. C.A. Yeung of the Under the Jacaranda Tree blog noted in December that Bullog had dropped two of its bloggers, apparently for writing about Chrter 08.

Which means that now I cannot connect anymore to the blogs of Anti and Lianyue, where I used to spend many a nerdy hour trying to decipher their mandarin.

As you see there is a more than possible connection with the Chrter 08. The repression of the Charter movement seems to be gaining momentum as the weeks pass, proving that the government is taking it as a serious menace.  This is sad in itself, but there is even worse.

First of all, I want to clarify one point, lest someone misunderstands Ramzy’s article. Normally when we say a site has been “blocked” in China, what happens is that the site continues operating but it is just not accessible from the mainland due to the censors’ Firewall. This is not the case now, the site has been completely closed down. VPNs, proxies or any other other gadget will not get it open for you anymore.

And this makes me think: How can the Chinese authorities be so disrespectful with their citizens? I mean, even supposing they were right to suppress the Charter. There are millions of Chinese that go into that website every day and run blogs, exchange comments, make friends, speak of anything else but politics. These officials think nothing of closing all the blogs down, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t even give bloggers the time to save their archives (mental note: backup daily, Nanny might show up tomorrow!)

This is not only a political problem. This is a basic problem of decency and respect for the citizenry. Let’s hope at least that, like Figaro said, repression will only make the Charter more prominent, and it will allow all the affected Chinese to open their eyes and see how their harmonious government really cares about them. And perhaps some day those same officials will have to regret this.

Nay, never laugh faster than China laughs.

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Comments so far ↓

  1. Jan

    Youren, you can still access some of the bullogger’s websites. Let’s face it, if you’ll gonna write politically sensitive stuff, it’s better to have several back-ups. And that’s what many of them did. I don’t know who “Anti” is, but Lianyue’s blog is here:

    And the co-founder of Bullog, Mr. Luo Yonghao, posted an article right after Bullog was shut down. The title of the article is “I’m gonna come back like nothing has happended”, the article is here:

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Jan

    Hi MH, thanks for the link. Yes, I saw it was posted on the douban thread, apparently it is the old address he had before moving to bullog.

    I think I am relatively safe writing political stuff because it is in English, there are much larger websites publishing these things in English so it is unlikely that Nanny focuses attention on me.

    Although to tell you the truth, now that Ive shamed google in my last post I am a bit scared. Do you imagine the power that Google has in the chinese internet? Just in case I am backing up once a day.

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Jan

    oops, I posted the same link twice. Mr. Luo’s article should be this: If you haven’t read it already, you might be interested to have a look.

    haha, I use google regularly but I think most Chinese still prefer Baidu over Google for many reasons. Imagethief is a better expert on this, but you probably already know.

    I was googling information on 1989 Tiananmen Incident earlier this year, I typed in “六四”, and it gave me the porn block. So I switched to Baidu, it gave me results on various P-64 PISTOL. hmmm.

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Jan

    Mhh, I didn’t try all the possibilities so I dont’ exclude that there are more keywords with that kind of block. But I tried quite a few, for example 天安门虐杀,and there was no problem. Wait a second, actually I am trying the 六四 right now and it doesn’t give the porn block either, it gives me the reset connection.

    I haven’t been able to get a porn block by any other terms that Chrter 08, if you find any other political term that gives it let me know.

    Yes, I read Imagethief but he is on holidays now apparently. If I remember well the reason why Chinese prefer Baidu is because you can download mp3s (il)legally for free.

    [Reply to this comment]

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