Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

An Inside Look at the Great Firewall of China

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the must-protect-general's-secret-recipe dept.

The Internet 165

alphadogg writes "An interview with James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, who has experienced 'The Great Firewall of China' firsthand, an experience people from around the world will share this summer when the Olympics comes to that country. Based in Beijing, Fallows has researched the underlying technology that the Chinese use for Internet censorship. One good thing to know: With VPNs and proxies, you can get around it pretty easily." Will these Olympics lead to a more free China, or is it just corporate pandering?

cancel ×

165 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Good luck (1, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23378888)

With VPNs and proxies, you can get around it pretty easily

Ha, I can't even get around my blocking software at work with proxies. You think China isn't going to be smart enough to block proxies and proxy lists, or reset odd VPN connections? Shit, even Websense is smart enough to do stuff like that.

Besides, the fear factor is what's REALLY going to scare most Chinese into avoiding "bad" sites. They're probably more afraid of being logged than blocked.

Re:Good luck (5, Interesting)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 6 years ago | (#23378984)

Well then, I guess China isn't smart enough. Proxies work great over in China; it's how I can access anything I want, watch my Netflix movies (proxy in the US, Netflix doesn't know where I really am), read the BBC, etc.

Re:Good luck (2, Insightful)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379096)

Enter the HTTPS proxy.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23379262)

How does that bypass an IP blocklist? How does that make you immune to injected RST packets?

D-, See me after class.

Re:Good luck (3, Funny)

lonasindi (914571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379412)

How does that bypass an IP blocklist? How does that make you immune to injected RST packets?


Magic.

Re:Good luck (1)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380156)

It was just a suggestion.
I made a few assumptions.
  1. HTTPS traffic is permitted.
  2. Blocking is done via a blacklist.
  3. There are more open proxies than there are entries on the blacklist.

Re:Good luck (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381138)

Simple: ignore RST packets. They are not really essential for normal work.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23382322)

Closing a TCP connection is not essential for normal work?

F, This is going on your permanent record, Mister.

The reason you need the ability to close a TCP connection is the way that TCP works. It takes a long time for an established TCP connection to time out (by design), and your OS only has a limited amount of space for a TCP connection table.

Now, there are two ways that you could take it from here, both bad. The first bad fix would be to lower this amount of time for the TCP timeout. This has the effect of requiring applications that have long-lived (but beneath the generally accepted TCP timeout) connections to have to send keep-alives. It also breaks the network in the case of lag. Both bad when you're behind a network firewall which might already be doing its best to drop your packets and trying to find out where you are.

The second fix would be to allow more TCP connection in the OS's connection table. This would work, but then you open yourself up to massive amounts of abuse. Current botnets already push the OS to its limit with outgoing connections. How much worse do you think it would be if you even doubled this table? Suddenly, malware and spam flows twice as fast.

Plus you are missing the point. Anything that is trying to connect to a fixed IP address is still doomed. Anything that asks a DNS server to resolve an IP address is doomed because if you are sending a traffic stream that the filtering device does not understand, it will drop your connection and add the IP address to a blocklist. After a certain number of attempts, they can start looking at your DNS queries, and if you are doing many, many queries to pass the firewall, they can just return NXDOMAIN until the secret police arrives to escort you away.

All of these reasons are why HTTPS proxies will not work. Unlike the GP, I am glad that someone proposed a solution, even if it was a bad one, as the only way we learn are from mistakes (our mistakes or, if we're smart, the mistakes of others).

Re:Good luck (1)

neight108 (974915) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379292)

With an SSH server and Putty, I can tunnel and get by nearly any kind of firewall, as long as I have 1 port open.

So is China smart enough to block IP's...yes, but if someone wants out, they will be able to get out, China cannot block every IP.

Re:Good luck (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381032)

Not only would they have to block every IP, they'd have to block every port on the unblocked IP's. For example, let's say they let email through port 25. All I have to do is use port 25 for ssh instead, set up a tunnel to a proxy server, and bang, I'm done. Substitute any number for 25, and substitute "anyone" for "me," and you can see that internet censorship is not viable.

Re:Good luck (1)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381896)

Internet censorship is viable because normal people don't do that.

Re:Good luck (4, Insightful)

aengblom (123492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379408)

Because China is trying to figure out a "balance" .... they want foreigners to be able to come in and communicate home, but don't want the general population getting too much unfiltered information.

It's about controlling the politics, not maintaing some information purity.

And, simply by blocking these sites, the government is able to mark them as bad or dangerous, which has weight with a lot of the population.... usually at least until the blocking hits too close to home. (As in all free speech issues).

Re:Good luck (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381070)

Great point. However, the great antidote is ridicule, which no government can tolerate. If this policy of censorship is trotted loudly out on a few news stations during the Olympics, embarrassment might help open things a bit more. The foot is already well in the door with China anyhow. They are never going to have a Congress (lucky for them) but they are not like a Junta-ruled African dictatorship either.

Re:Good luck (4, Informative)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381796)

Before we go crazy, it's worth reading the Pew Research Centre study into Chinese views of the internet [pewresearch.org] .

80% of the population feels the internet *should* be controlled, and 85% of these believe gov.cn is the one to do it. If you follow the trends, it seems that the government's propaganda about the internet seems to be taking, in that less than a third of users said the net was a reliable source of information.

The Chinese also don't censor in the way the UAE or Singapore do either, in that you're going to get a Connection Reset error rather than a Stop! Bad Things! warning if you access something relating to the issue du jour, and they allow VPNs and proxies because 1) they know it's only a small percentage who use them and outside of this group there's little interest in bypassing the government 'safeties' and 2) most external business interests would be very very upset if their VPNs stopped working.

Re:Good luck (5, Interesting)

LS (57954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379522)

What a bunch of random bullshit! You apparently pulled a bunch of guesses based on misconceptions out of your ass, and the moderators appear to have agreed.

I've lived in China for over 3 years, using the same SSH tunnel the entire time. In addition, there are too many people in China to monitor their browsing habits. What they actually care about is what you are saying (e.g. on blogs), and then only if your words get more than a certain amount of traffic.

Enough with the misinformation. Just because you speculate that something is done because it would be the "smart" thing to do, doesn't mean it's happening.

LS

Re:Good luck (1)

beckerist (985855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380818)

Exactly. It seemed less about controlling what was read and more about controlling what was said. At least, those were my impressions. IANC (I am not Chinese)

Re:Good luck (2, Interesting)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379828)

the fear factor is what's REALLY going to scare most Chinese into avoiding "bad" sites. They're probably more afraid of being logged than blocked.
The biggest fear the Chinese people have is that they don't know *what* to be afraid of. You can't tell in advance whether a particular potentially offending action will get you killed, put you in prison for life, or get no reaction whatsoever. The Communist Party has put a lot of work into creating this sort of paranoia, and just to be on the safe side people are imposing a sort of self-censorship on themselves (e.g. don't even try to access the blocked sites). This is the sort that works best.

I think that the Great Firewall is something like a high fence with lions behind it. You can easily jump over it, but most of those who do gets eaten, so the rest is less inclined to even try.

What I want to know is (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380374)

... why would we give them firewalls ?

*runs*

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23380512)

Shit, even Websense is smart enough to do stuff like that.

My prior job has Websense (I left for a better paying job before you ask). I think it took me about two hours to figure out how to get requests through its block. I spent a few more writing a local proxy to support the "hack". For as popular as they are I was really surprised on how easy it was to circumvent their software. And I am far from the best of the best at network hacking.

As for China there are plenty of open proxies outside the country popping up all the time that support encryption.

Re:Good luck (1)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381930)

It's sorta hard to "reset" a UDP VPN, seeing as it doesn't exactly have an RST bit.

Just more corporate pandering... (5, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23378930)

But, eventually, corporate pandering will lead to greater economic freedom for the Chinese, and then, ultimately, greater political freedom.

I don't mean to sound elitist, but most Chinese people in the USA that I have talked to have basically said that yes, while more human rights and freedom of speech would be nice, the problem is that the Chinese peasant class is so uneducated and so poor that there is a huge risk of total social chaos if China adopts the Glasnost route. They want to avoid a Soviet - collapse style meltdown.

Re:Just more corporate pandering... (1, Interesting)

bendodge (998616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379638)

The Soviet-style meltdown is exactly what needs to happen, and the best thing we can do is quit dumping money into China's economy.

Re:Just more corporate pandering... (3, Insightful)

Sigismundo (192183) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380244)

Actually, Russia has lately been sliding back into old Soviet ways recently. Putin is ex-KGB, and his hand-picked successor recently became president. Most media outlets are very fearful of criticizing the government. I wouldn't exactly point to Russia and call it a success story.

Re:Just more corporate pandering... (1)

dusanv (256645) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381048)

Do you realize China is the biggest US creditor (US being neck deep in debt) and holds the biggest reserve of US dollars outside US? All those trillions US is borrowing are underwritten by China. You're deluding yourself if you think US can pressure China economically.

Re:Just more corporate pandering... (5, Interesting)

Echnin (607099) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381770)

No, no no. If all you want is for the CCP government to go down, then certainly that is what would work the fastest. However, the chaotic situation that would arise would be an economic disaster taking away the wealth gained by normal Chinese. It is a popular misconception in the West that the CCP is incompetent and corrupt and only exists for the sake of party members, but the fact is that even in a one-party state there is politics, and there is discussion and debate, and the system works. It's authoritarian, sure, and it's a mistake not to allow freer public discussion (even with such, I believe the government would still have great support of the people), but the system is not tyrannic, and while far from as democratic as Western democracies we must remember that there are differences between Western democracies, notably with a trainwreck of a two-party plutocratic system in the USA. The Chinese government has done a lot more good for the environment than the US government has, for example, with limits on car emissions that would be impossible for the US to meet, and energy efficiency markings for electronics. Would Americans not be offended if Swiss people claimed that the American political system needed to collapse? Anyway, you're very uninformed about the current state of the world economy if you believe that the West could cause the Chinese economy to collapse without taking an enourmous hit itself.

Reading posts like this, and seeing hundreds of Chinese protest outside Tous Les Jours, a bakery chain here in Beijing, because they thought it was French (hint: it's Korean!) just makes me wonder how diplomacy between different countries ever works. It's all a bunch of chauvinistic cheerleading for whatever country you happened to be born in, with stretching of and invention of facts and a complete disregard of the views of the other part. Chinese people know they don't have a proper democracy. They don't mind this fact as much as Westerners want them to. Now I'll go back to try to convince Chinese people of the benefits of Western democracy and that the Western media is not a single-faceted entity/hate machine directed at discrediting China, but in fact allows for having several different opinions...

Back on the subject of the Great Firewall, I'm posting from behind it, and I don't know any internet user here who does NOT know how to activate a proxy of some sort for the sites that aren't available.

Re:Just more corporate pandering... (2, Interesting)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379932)

Convincing the people that the government is the only thing standing between them and chaos is a classic tactic of totalitarian governments. (Now think about what the American government is currently doing....)

However, given China's recent history, I'm not even sure they're wrong. The country went through a lot of chaos before the Communists took things over and got the country settled down. I've talked to people old enough to have been around a fair bit before the Communists gained control and I've never heard anyone say that they wish things hadn't turned out the way they did.

Re:Just more corporate pandering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23381142)

I'm a Chinese currently living in the USA and I hold the same view as those Chinese described in the post above. It's rather interesting to see how disconnected the western world is to the reality in China. The reality to the majority of Chinese is that: (1) we were in a chaotic status for the last two centuries (we were forced to import tons of opiums [wikipedia.org] ; we were invaded by Japan [wikipedia.org] 60 years ago); (2) WE DEFINITELY DO NOT WANT THAT CHAOTIC STATUS ANYMORE; (3) yes, the current CCP government is far from perfect; (4) but it's the best system that China has for centuries; and (5) we believe the country is in the right direction. It is easy for the people in the western to say "free China" or "democracy in China". But the reality is that turning China into a democratic system overnight would turn the country into a turmoil and more than a billion people is going to suffer.

For all those warm-heart western people, who can't tolerate others suffer, please give some patience to the Chinese. Democracy is happening in China. The pace may be too slow from your POV. But ask yourself how long it took for the USA to develop to the current democratic status.

and (2) we are in Basically what happens there is that in the last two centuries China is basically in a chaotic status. We were forced to open our door to import tons of opium [wikipedia.org] (by Britain) and were invaded by Japan and finally people there are enjoying a peaceful and vastly improving life.

Re:Just more corporate pandering... (1)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381898)

For all those warm-heart western people, who can't tolerate others suffer, please give some patience to the Chinese. Democracy is happening in China. The pace may be too slow from your POV. But ask yourself how long it took for the USA to develop to the current democratic status.

But, at what stage (if you're not into the whole FDR-coup thing) did the US go through its Fascist phase? That's where China is now, and it's hard to see a transition to anything like democracy from that place. Once you start revving up the death vans, giving the secret police free reign and running networks of slave labour camps it's fairly hard to go back.

Not being flamey, genuinely interested in your view of this versus my perhaps distorted outside opinion of the system over there.

Inside Look At Great Firewall of Soviet Amerika (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23378962)



is George W. Bush [whitehouse.org] .

Domestic spying has increased but prosecutions are down.

Who is working for whom?

CORPORATE pandering? (4, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379052)

Will these Olympics lead to a more free China, or is it just corporate pandering?

Ask the international Olypmic commitee what they were thinking. The companies that make money off of the broadcasting and related licensing are going to make money regardless of where the games are held. It would likely be a lot easier, logistically, NOT to have to put up with the Chinese nonsense while moving the media army into place to cover the games. Which corporations are being pandered to, here? The corporation that is China? They (the Chinese) promised all sorts of open access and press freedom as part of the package they pitched while trying to seduce the panel that chooses the venues. They were obviously lying, a lot. How that broadly strokes "corporate" interests enough to refer to it that way in the summary is not clear enough in the summary to warrant that particular bit of editorial spin.

Re:CORPORATE pandering? (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379362)

China has more problems than you mentioned. Aside from the deceit with the IOC, The just had a huge earthquake, still need to save face over the Tibet issues, and in general terms have to maintain face or risk losing sales of Chinese made products worldwide.

If the 'Great Firewall' turns the Olympics into a fiasco, or the Chinese themselves do so, if even half it's trading partners boycott, it would seriously dampen China's fiscal ardor. They have gotten themselves into a 'put up or shut up' position. Lets just see how far the athletes and journalists will push the boundaries.

Re:CORPORATE pandering? (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379506)

Just about everything we purchase now is produced in China. Sure it would hurt China a lot of a country were to boycott them. But it would also hurt their own citizens. Not only would consumers be unable to purchase products from China, but businesses would be unable to outsource labour to China in order to keep prices low. While I think China needs to change their ways, I don't know if boycotting Chinese products is really feasible from an economic standpoint.

Re:CORPORATE pandering? (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379508)

I have to say, if you lined up the Olympic committee, the corporations involved in this Olympics, and the Chinese government, I would say the Chinese government inspires more trust than the other two. All three are self-serving, but the Chinese government are the most socially responsible of the lot.

Re:CORPORATE pandering? (4, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379922)

ll three are self-serving, but the Chinese government are the most socially responsible of the lot.

I see. That would be the China that just shouted down any attempt by the UN to even hold discussions about whether to try to bypass the Burma junta and get international aid directly to the million people that are about to die there? That IS socially responsible!

And corporations? They exist to serve the people that form and invest in them. That's their actual purpose. Of course, many of them are lining up to provide goods and services to aid the people who are about to die in Burma, while China and Russia are backing the junta's demands to funnel all of the aid through them (you know, the people who elected not to warn their coastal population that they were about to die in droves, even though the rest of the world scrambled to let that military regime know what was about to happen). You know, the military regime that is confiscating such aid as IS allowed to land there, and which they are labeling with their own stickers and political propoganda before handing it out. You know, the military regime that China is insulating from so much as a formal rebuke from the UN.

What's your motivation, here, exactly? You find the Chinese government - who jail and even kill people for saying the sorts of things you can sit at a US corporate desk and say all day long, and who harbor and sanction outright network vandalism and malware propogation around the world, and prop up hell holes like North Korea - more trustworthy than Honda, or Bayer, or LG, or Nokia, or Virgin Atlantic, or AMD, or your local grocery store chain? Really?

Re:CORPORATE pandering? (2, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380098)

I dunno, the Chinese government doesn't strike me as being particularly socially responsible. They may do their best to maintain order and stop various "vices", but their environmental record totally stinks. That they apparently couldn't give a rat's ass about Beijing's polluted air for so long, and then suddenly decided that It Must All Be Cleaned Up right when a horde of foreigners are about to descend upon the city doesn't speak well for them at all. For whatever reason, they seem to be more concerned with looking good than doing good.

Great Firewall - hackneyed cliche (2, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379094)

The "Great Firewall of China" was a neato headline when Wired did it over 10 years ago.

Re:Great Firewall - hackneyed cliche (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379568)

Indeed it's no longer the ingenious neologism it once was, but have you a more apropos term in mind?

I think it still captures the spirit of the system quite well -- As a firewall, China's filter network keeps things the Party wants to keep out from entering, and things it wants to keep from getting out from leaving. And I think the visual of China's iconic, ancient landmark actually makes for an excellent metaphor for both the scale and the socially archaic nature of the system.

The Great Wall was of course doomed to eventually become a strange curio from a less enlightened time, just as China's system of social suppression will likely one day be seen as backward by future generations.

Incredible (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379160)

They can put needles in collars of soldiers to force them to stay at attention (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=564629&in_page_id=1811&ct=5)
but they can't figure out how to block the internet from their people.

Re:Incredible (5, Interesting)

pkalkul (450979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379364)

In their recent book, Who Controls the Internet, law professors Timothy Wu and Jack Goldsmith have a nice section on China. Their argument is that effective control does not require total control. Yes, it is possible for internet users in China to circumvent government controls, but as long as these controls work well enough for the average user -- who as other commentators have noted, have other concerns and priorities -- then the Chinese government has effective control. An educated Western user who has certain expectations for the internet, and who has the technical resources necessary to access proxies, can perhaps (relatively) easily bypass government controls. But that does not mean that these controls, combined with logging and fear of reprisals, are not very effective.

And, of course, China is a large market for many firms, and therefore the Chinese government has leverage to exert their influence over a set of intermediaries -- Yahoo and Google, for example -- to make their control effective (again, not perfect).

Re:Incredible (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380924)

You could be talking about DRM...

rj

Re:Incredible (1)

L0stm4n (322418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380376)

And you can't figure out how to create a link....

A political trojan horse (2, Interesting)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379236)

China wants the olympics because it makes them a legitimate major nation in the international sphere, not an automatic enemy.

Suddenly we're giving them the olympics but making demands about Tibet.

Why Tibet?

I am serious- of all injustices in the world why has the Western world particularly adopted Tibet? No matter how you look at it, it's a rightful conquest. Do we expect France to come over and tell us to relinquish Puerto Rico? No- imperialist gains are imperialist gains. I don't see why China's dominion is evil while ours is not. Besides, Tibet was a theocratic feudal kingdom before China invaded, where most people were serfs who lived in hovels underneath lords. They revolt out of nationalistic pride, but in reality they are better off with China's modernizations.

What about the great firewall? Why do we even care? I think it has to do with American corporations wanting to profit off of the Chinese populace without hurting their marketing image in the US. "Hey, our company looks like a giant kindergarten at its headquarters, so we'd never want to support censorship!" Maybe China is protecting it political and economic goods. Thanks to the great firewall, Chinese corporations boom within their subset of the internet, PLUS they don't have to worry about their people embracing the American fascist economic policies because their websites are prettier.

We walk a fine line with China. Within China, they have total copyright freedom (something slashdot cares about)- but I think at this point they're working on modernization and keeping their citizens out of poverty instead of becoming a third world nation, exploited for its cheap labor while foreign companies get to start calling the shots in their government. China is in control of China, and I am sure they like it that way.

Re:A political trojan horse (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379788)

I am serious- of all injustices in the world why has the Western world particularly adopted Tibet? No matter how you look at it, it's a rightful conquest. Do we expect France to come over and tell us to relinquish Puerto Rico? No- imperialist gains are imperialist gains. I don't see why China's dominion is evil while ours is not.

One suspects that if I made the same argument and replaced 'China' with 'the United States' and 'Tibet' with 'Iraq' that I'd be quickly modded troll. And since you mentioned Puerto Rico -- are we repressing an independence movement in Puerto Rico at gunpoint? Are the people of Tibet free to vote in local elections and choose their own destiny as the people of Puerto Rico are?

They revolt out of nationalistic pride, but in reality they are better off with China's modernizations.

If I made the same argument about Native Americans I'd be modded down faster then you can say "gunpowder". What the hell gives one group of people the right to impose "modernization" on another group of less well armed people? This isn't the 19th century anymore.

Re:A political trojan horse (2, Interesting)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380076)

One suspects that if I made the same argument and replaced 'China' with 'the United States' and 'Tibet' with 'Iraq' that I'd be quickly modded troll. And since you mentioned Puerto Rico -- are we repressing an independence movement in Puerto Rico at gunpoint? Are the people of Tibet free to vote in local elections and choose their own destiny as the people of Puerto Rico are?
Tibet is technically an "autonomous region". What that means is obviously questionable in reference to Chinese power. Despite this, I am positive that Tibet can not vote themselves out of Chinese control, the same way that Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands likely cannot.

If I made the same argument about Native Americans I'd be modded down faster then you can say "gunpowder". What the hell gives one group of people the right to impose "modernization" on another group of less well armed people? This isn't the 19th century anymore.
But we didn't modernize the native americans- at all. We simply kicked them off the fertile land and built in their place. In fact, one might go so far as to point out that we placed them at various points across the country with the least productive land available at the time. Tibetans did not get kicked out of Tibet. China simply builds roads, schools, and massive political prisons. I would compare them more to Rome than the United States, in this case. Whether or not you think it's right, these people are no longer serfs. Although they don't know it yet- that's a good thing. You really need to take a long hard look at what life in China is really about before you start acting like it's a nation of slaves. Pre-1959 Tibet was a nation of slaves.

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380190)

the same way that Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands likely cannot

There's nothing stopping either of those places from moving towards Independence if the population was so inclined. Palau [wikipedia.org] obtained Independence. So did the Federated States of Micronesia [wikipedia.org] . There is actually a Puerto Rican Independence Party [independencia.net] too -- though they don't currently have the support of the majority of the population (which sees benefits in remaining an American Commonwealth), but they do exist. Think China would tolerate the creation of a Tibetan Independence Party?

Whether or not you think it's right, these people are no longer serfs. Although they don't know it yet- that's a good thing. You really need to take a long hard look at what life in China is really about before you start acting like it's a nation of slaves. Pre-1959 Tibet was a nation of slaves.

So can we invade Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia is practically a 'nation of slaves' -- particularly for those without a Y chromosome. What about all the rural poor in China? How are they much better off than 'serfs'? Can we invade them too?

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380584)

So can we invade Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia is practically a 'nation of slaves' -- particularly for those without a Y chromosome. What about all the rural poor in China? How are they much better off than 'serfs'? Can we invade them too?
Nothing justifies Imperialism. It's all a game of taking resources and figuring out when it's cheaper not to conquer. Imperialism is the reason that we have first world and third world countries. Like I'm sure the US and Europe gained all their power using naturally aspirated internal structuring- but they did not. We make gains by taking the potential of others.

Let's compare this to Hawaii. I would say that's a much better comparison since Tibet is not just a protectorate- here's a part of the country where the natives have been pushed down to ceremonial status, the resistance was met with military strife, and there is no voting out.

Tibet is not an economically-justified holding. It started out as a logistical military holding and it's turned into a point of pride. China has invested so much infrastructure in Tibet that it would be ludicrous to pull out and reinstall their God-King.

And no, we can't invade China or Saudi Arabia because they're our allies. It would be expensive and economically disastrous. China invaded a no-name forbidden kingdom in the mountains and actually improved their quality of life while gaining no goods or services really from their holding. From an imperialist standpoint, it's silly. But realistically, it's none of our business. Their conquests are theirs and ours are ours.

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380936)

Whether or not you think it's right, these people are no longer serfs. Although they don't know it yet- that's a good thing

Besides, Tibet was a theocratic feudal kingdom before China invaded, where most people were serfs who lived in hovels underneath lords. They revolt out of nationalistic pride, but in reality they are better off with China's modernizations.

China has invested so much infrastructure in Tibet that it would be ludicrous to pull out and reinstall their God-King.

China invaded a no-name forbidden kingdom in the mountains and actually improved their quality of life

Nothing justifies Imperialism

Do you not see the ridiculous contradictions in your own statements? "Nothing justifies Imperialism", yet you've devoted many of your statements to justifying it! You bemoan "American fascist economic policies" while condoning and justifying cultural imperialism on the part of China. Pot, kettle, black.

Like I'm sure the US and Europe gained all their power using naturally aspirated internal structuring- but they did not

Yes, we engaged in our fair share of imperialism. It was wrong then and it's wrong today. Pointing out past (or even current) imperialistic oppression on the part of the West does not justify modern day imperialism on the part of China. We aren't perfect but we have taken some steps to atone for our past misdeeds -- China seems to be actively seeking out new misdeeds.

I will call out any Government (including my own) that abuses human rights. To say that it's "none of our business" is to advocate for a policy of isolationism that history suggests will fail miserably every single time. I'm not suggesting that we send in the Marines to 'liberate' Tibet -- but the World doesn't owe China a free ride either -- and I don't see any problem with using whatever we have as leverage to get them to improve their treatment of Tibet. At the moment, that leverage would seem to include the Olympic games.

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381162)

Do you not see the ridiculous contradictions in your own statements? "Nothing justifies Imperialism", yet you've devoted many of your statements to justifying it! You bemoan "American fascist economic policies" while condoning and justifying cultural imperialism on the part of China. Pot, kettle, black.
I'm sorry I don't see any contradiction. I never said imperialism was right. I am merely implying that the US does not have hold over what is right and wrong- we are not the bastion nor vanguards of freedom. We don't release imperialist holdings because we're good people, we do it because they're expensive to maintain. The United States DOES NOT police the world.

I am merely stating that we have no right to mess with Tibet. It's not our country, there's no genocide, there's only standard Chinese political oppression. If we were to turn on China, we would have to start making things again in the United States. Nobody wants that!

There are far worse human right scenarios than Tibet in the world, realistically, especially those that are caused by negligence. People in Africa starve while our American "green" movement pushes for the use of food-market-collapsing biofuels. Just because I am liberal doesn't mean I have to go front with the world's industrial power-house. People NEED food, people SHOULD HAVE education, and political freedoms can come when China's gained more middle class citizens who care about this. Let China reform on its own- because it will. The people will clamor against us in nationalist movements if they see reform occurring due to US pressure.

I simply don't believe we can just bully China into "freedom". What they're doing in Tibet does not justify US action, period.

Re:A political trojan horse (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381376)

I'm sorry I don't see any contradiction

You don't see a contradiction with saying that nothing justifies imperialism while simultaneously justifying it?

am merely implying that the US does not have hold over what is right and wrong- we are not the bastion nor vanguards of freedom

The notion that we can't criticize human rights failings because we ourselves aren't 100% perfect serves no one besides the oppressive regimes of the World.

The United States DOES NOT police the world.

Where did I advocate for 'policing' this situation? All I said was that the World doesn't owe China a free ride. Personally I won't be watching the Olympics and I'm considering trying to setup a boycott of any company that sponsors them. I see a bit of a difference between 'policing' and refusing to do business with companies that are profiting from the Olympics. I see a bit of a difference between 'policing' and refusing to attend the opening ceremonies.

What they're doing in Tibet does not justify US action, period.

It also doesn't justify treating them like a mature member of the community of nations -- or do you not believe that they should be held to the same standards (starting with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) as everybody else?

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381628)

Where did I advocate for 'policing' this situation? All I said was that the World doesn't owe China a free ride. Personally I won't be watching the Olympics and I'm considering trying to setup a boycott of any company that sponsors them. I see a bit of a difference between 'policing' and refusing to do business with companies that are profiting from the Olympics. I see a bit of a difference between 'policing' and refusing to attend the opening ceremonies.
Well I think Tibet is better off as part of China. I don't believe in feudalism nor theocracy- and I recognize that the nation is too impoverished to develop without China's support. Freedom and democracy do not always yield the best humanitarian results. Americans can complain all they want- they're allowed to. Chinese people probably cannot- and that's their problem until they right it. China doesn't export its human rights violations like we do with our little foray into Iraq- and for that reason it's a waste of time and trade potential to attack them over it.

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381800)

Well I think Tibet is better off as part of China. I don't believe in feudalism nor theocracy- and I recognize that the nation is too impoverished to develop without China's support

You assume that the people want to develop. Did it ever occur to you that maybe they don't? I find it rather disturbing that you simultaneously justify China's involvement in Tibet because the people are "better off" while discouraging any attempt to improve the quality of life for the billion people living under the regime in Beijing.

China doesn't export its human rights violations like we do with our little foray into Iraq

I know some genocide victims in the Sudan that might disagree with that statement.

and for that reason it's a waste of time and trade potential to attack them over it.

"Attack them over it"? There you go again putting words into my mouth -- where did I advocate doing anything more forceful then calling them out on their behavior and leveraging the Olympics to hopefully get them to moderate their position? Nobody is advocating attacking China or even reducing our trade with them. I just don't see why the World owes them a global forum if this is what they intend to do with it.

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

malevolentjelly (1057140) | more than 6 years ago | (#23382380)

Attack as in confront. Reform is a slow process and the olympics are a step forward, not a step back. Isolation may have been the Bush administration's mantra for stopping "evil", but I rather think embrace and extend works a lot better.

Do not trust Exile governments, Ever (0)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381542)

I am merely stating that we have no right to mess with Tibet. It's not our country, there's no genocide, there's only standard Chinese political oppression. If we were to turn on China, we would have to start making things again in the United States. Nobody wants that!

The fact of the matter is that most of the grief about Tibet is coming from dissidents who have formed a government in exile, haven't been in the country in decades, and have been successful at rallying world opinion to their cause because they say the right things to western ears that want to hear them.

Honestly, after Iraq, I'm done with dissidents and governments in exile. We heard enough about freedom and democracy from the likes of Allawi and Chalabi, and we believed them so much, wanted to believe them so much, that we ignored our own allies (and our own) intelligence estimates, and found out, AFTER we invaded, that the government in exile that we had hoped to install had absolutely no popular support whereas the government we displaced actually did. We find out that instead of supporting our sanctions against Saddam, the Iraqi people were actually pretty pissed off at us for them. Instead of roses, we got IEDs to greet us. Instead of changing the regime in Iraq, we would up becoming the regime in Iraq and, whether we stay there or not, we're going to be paying for that for quite some time.

Re:Do not trust Exile governments, Ever (1)

saforrest (184929) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381856)

Honestly, after Iraq, I'm done with dissidents and governments in exile.

That's a pretty ridiculous thing to say. Gandhi, Mandela, and Aung San Suu Kyi were/are all dissidents. During WWII we had governments-in-exile for Norway, the Netherlands, and France, who had popular support and went on to set up stable governments after the war's end.

Yet because the propaganda of some CIA-backed fraudster happened to have been seized upon by Bush et al. to justify an illegal war, then all dissidents and all governments-in-exile are unworthy of recognition or credit?

The problem with Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress was not that it claimed to be a government-in-exile. The problem was that it had no recognition or legitimacy amongst most Iraqis. And I suspect there was no shortage of evidence for that fact available before the invasion if the invading coalition had cared to look hard enough.

Re:Do not trust Exile governments, Ever (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23382052)

Yet because the propaganda of some CIA-backed fraudster happened to have been seized upon by Bush et al. to justify an illegal war, then all dissidents and all governments-in-exile are unworthy of recognition or credit?

Yes.

Re:A political trojan horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23382318)

are we repressing an independence movement in Puerto Rico at gunpoint?
What right did the protesters have to burn the families and businesses of Han Chinese? I'm not saying it's perfect but if the lives of me and my family were at stake I'd sure as hell want armed troops to come in, wouldn't you?

Re:A political trojan horse (2, Insightful)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380134)

I am serious- of all injustices in the world why has the Western world particularly adopted Tibet? No matter how you look at it, it's a rightful conquest. Do we expect France to come over and tell us to relinquish Puerto Rico?
I think that if there were anti-American protests in Puerto Rico, US military wouldn't bomb in and outright shoot the protesters. In other countries, it's usually the separatist groups that are responsible for the violence, not the government.

Tibet was a theocratic feudal kingdom before China invaded, where most people were serfs who lived in hovels underneath lords. They revolt out of nationalistic pride, but in reality they are better off with China's modernizations.
It is beyond me why US won't invade Cuba. They would be better off with US's modernizations.

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381994)

Umm, because a nation of people indoctrinated (with or without merit) against Americans, when invaded by Americans, tends to umm, resist?

And if there's nearby regional powers where the US also has a history of meddling they might step in and help the, umm, insurgency?

Seriously, did you spend the last 6 years asleep or are you being sarcastic? If so, please use the phrase "welcome us with flowers" or "the sugar will pay for the liberation costs" just so we can tell...

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380624)

I understand your point, but I don't agree that Tibetan should stay with China's modernizations as a citizen of a country that has over one thousand years struggling from becoming one part of china. Freedom has its own price.

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

jellie (949898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380914)

Tibet is unusual because (Tibetan) Buddhism has an image of peace and goodwill. When people think of Buddhism, they're much more likely to think of meditation and peaceful monks than the feudalism that it had years ago. Similarly, there's a huge difference between a man shooting a little old lady and that same man shooting a drug dealer. There was a victim in both cases, yet the old lady will receive much more sympathy. It's just how psychology works. Whether Tibet is better off is largely debatable. Hell, the Dalai Lama fled to India, and China even abducted the Panchen Lama (the second-highest ranking person in Tibetan Buddhism). I believe most Tibetans think they're better off without China bringing in tons of Han Chinese (and FWIW, I am Han Chinese). Furthermore, Tibet is "autonomous" in name only, and is still ruled by China. Hong Kong, which at least has its own judicial system and a bill of rights established when it was under UK rule, still has a CEO, which is just creepy. Half of its politicians are appointed by China.

And China does not have "total copyright freedom," nor do they care about "keeping their citizens out of poverty." First of all, the former is a complete misrepresentation -- I highly doubt that a bunch of programmers want "total copyright freedom." A license, which dictates how software (or music or video) can be used, is mutually exclusive from a copyright (though I think you already know that). China is really about protecting itself, while allowing some of its citizens to make tons of money at any cost. Do you think it was the government who revealed the child labor/kidnapping ring in Sichuan last week? No, of course not, it was a newspaper. It's hard to believe that people didn't know this was going on.

Re:A political trojan horse (1)

jmdc (1152611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381802)

imperialist gains are imperialist gains.

Most of the protests have more to do with the oppression of the Chinese government and lack of religious freedom than the fact that China conquered Tibet. The Dalai Lama himself has said he doesn't want independence, though he does want more freedoms and local authority.

I don't see why China's dominion is evil while ours is not.

Imperialism is wrong whoever engages in it. The difference is, Puerto Ricans aren't being religiously persecuted by the US government, and if they wanted independence, the US would give it to them. (That's the stated position of all the candidates for President anyway. Sure they could be lying, but I can't think of any way that's in their interests.) If there are human rights abuses going on in Puerto Rico that I am unaware of, I would appreciate information.

They revolt out of nationalistic pride, but in reality they are better off with China's modernizations.

Who are you to decide what the Tibetan people are better off with? How do you know the motives of an entire ethnic group? Were the Tibetan people really better off starving to death during the Great Leap Forward? Are they better off being driven to minority status in their own homeland by China's immigration policies? Are they better off without political and religious freedoms? It's impossible to know what the Tibetans would have done if left to their own devices, but it's at least possible that they would have modernized on their own.

What about the great firewall? Why do we even care?

Because censorship is evil.

...China is protecting it political and economic goods. Thanks to the great firewall, Chinese corporations boom within their subset of the internet, PLUS they don't have to worry about their people embracing the American fascist economic policies because their websites are prettier.
Free markets are good, and don't Godwin yourself!

Worked for me in Saudi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23379254)

When I was spending more time in Saudi Arabia (several years ago) I set up a vpn to a stateside proxy. It worked very well... Though I have no idea what technologies they are using now there or in China.

Little Known Fact (5, Funny)

ShawnCplus (1083617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379280)

Little known fact is that the Great Firewall of China is the only slap in the face to freedom that can be seen from outer space.

Will people redirect attention to their own? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379300)

Because across the world governments are tightening their grips, and some are trying to extend their grip well past their own borders. There was this saying about "First remove the beam from your own eye"

Why would the Olympics lead to a freer China? (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379308)

What does an athletic competition have to do with the internal politics of a country?

At the risk of running afoul of Godwin's law, Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics before the beginning of WWII. They mostly used it as a propaganda opportunity, and it's hard to say that the event led to any more openness or political moderation on the part of the German government.

Re:Why would the Olympics lead to a freer China? (1)

jellie (949898) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381254)

I agree, I don't think it's actually going to make much of a difference. The 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow was boycotted by many countries and was led by the US, though I don't know if it amounted to much. However, this is the perfect time to air our grievances against China. When a country signs on to host the Olympic Games, it must also agree to allow the press to move freely around the country -- which has obviously not been done in Tibet. Additionally, the Olympic Charter states that "sport is a human right." When can we bring up human rights in China, if not now?

In contrast, the 1988 Summer Olympics [wikipedia.org] in Seoul, South Korea was one of the major causes that led to the downfall of the president, Chun Doo-hwan, who had violently suppressed a protest [wikipedia.org] . This led to democratic elections. It's unlikely, but possible.

It's a Chinese Bear Market (1)

goodmorningsunshine (1230354) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379378)

Corporate Pandas?

Re:It's a Chinese Bear Market (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379532)

This will work out great - everything's black and white so no critical thinking will be required.

X or corporate pandering... (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379402)

Honestly, do questions of this format need to be posed anymore? If there is ever an option for more corporate pandering, it will be taken.

What kind of stupid question is this? (3, Interesting)

analog_line (465182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379418)

Will these Olympics lead to a more free China, or is it just corporate pandering?


Since when has any Olympic games, even the ancient ones, ever led to to resolution of any conflict? Did the 1936 Summer Olympics get Hitler to mend his ways? Did the 1980 Moscow Olympics get the Soviet Union to mend their ways? Did any of the Olympics held in the US do anything but promote self-importance and exceptionalism amongst Americans? Did the Tokyo Olympics, or the Nagano Olympics get Japan to mend fences with China and Korea over Japanese war crimes in WW2?

At the very best, it allows rival groups to fight each other in a less murderous way for a bit (and even that isn't a given, see Munich 1972, Atlanta bombing). That's a good thing, but expecting more than that is ignoring history. The people in the "Olympic movement" that see the games as a tool for peace and understanding are just deluding themselves. Even with the ancient games, wars were only put on hold, not ended, and that was only because it was a religious event.

The only people that ever make money on an Olympics are the ad agencies.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

shrikel (535309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379542)

The only people that ever make money on an Olympics are the ad agencies.

And the International Olympic Committee members, of course.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (2, Insightful)

Dallas Caley (1262692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379574)

It's not that the Olympics games themselves will actually lead to anything, it's that in order for them to take place China will have to expose itself to western culture in a way that it hasn't previously. Millions of people in China will see their first glimpse of the outside world through these games and that is what could lead to significant change in the country.

As Americans, we look at China and say "well why don't they want freedom?" The reality is that they don't even have a concept of what our type of freedom is, for them it's probably something to be feared because that's what they have been told. But the more that the people are exposed to the western world the more they may realize what it is that they are missing out on

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (2, Insightful)

zoogies (879569) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380158)

There are bigger problems in China than your concept of "freedom". Such as staking out a decent living. If you think the Chinese people look at their government and say, "Well, gee, don't we have a swell government? They tell us so, better believe them!" then I think you have a very badly misconceived notion of China.

Maybe I do too, but I get the sense that in China, the people aren't exactly giggles over the government. It's more of a bitter sentiment, and deservedly so, because when has the government really taken to looking after its populace? There's more problems with corruption than with not being able to vote (I won't look up the turnout numbers on American elections).

Look, the Chinese aren't stupid. In America, we tend to think, "Well, gosh, they have a Communist government with a state-owned media" and consider everyone to be poor brainwashed souls. I really do not think so - and I may be wrong, of course - but I really don't feel that the Chinese rely on the media for truth, for good journalism, for ways to think. Again, it's a kind of bitterness that comes along with a government you can't depend on to look out for what's best for its people.

Honestly, I think that media dependence (for ideas, general conceptions, etc) is more true in America. Wake up, guys! Our western media is not exactly a glorious, unbiased bastion of truth. Your last paragraph smacks of reliance on nebulous, preconceived Western impressions, not of experience.

Millions of people already see a glimpse of the outside world. Television. KFC. Expose itself to Western culture in a way it hasn't previously? Western culture is ALL over the place. What will likely is happen is the people of Beijing will be like, "psh. *AMERICANS*." Unfortunately, we (America) aren't that popular around the world these days. Even if we are glorious and full of freedom, we also have kind of a recent history of being an arrogant state trying to police the world. Founded or not, that's another argument, but anyway.

Here's what the Olympics will NOT do: help out Beijing's denizens. It's all for show, to show off the mighty progress of the government and the pride of China. What it really does is make life a lot harder for the millions of denizens who are going to face roads being blocked off or reserved, incredible travel restrictions into and out of the city, etc. The LAST thing I expect these millions of people to do is go all starry eyed and think, "Wow! These westerners! There is just so much to learn from them and their culture." Just another difficulty the people endure at the hands of a government that, while you could say is slowly improving, doesn't hold the people as a high priority.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

Dallas Caley (1262692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380862)

Ok so maybe i put it in simplistic terms, but i am not so nieve to believe that they will just "get all starry eyed" and fall in love with our culture. Nevertheless i still think its a good thing that these games are happening and here are my reasons

1: Yes you are correct there are bigger issues in the lives of most people in china, such as making a living, but should that be the case? isn't it true that it is our desire to want free time that we try to work less? perhaps these games will make them want the same thing as well.

2: Yes i'm sure the chinese don't like their government but they hate us even more. Why should they like us? for crying out loud we spent most of the past 200 years screwing them over, getting their country addicted to opium, standing back and doing nothing while japan raped and pillaged their country. I guess my thought here is that any kind of interaction with them that isn't of a destructive nature would have to be seen as better than what we have been doing, and that is a good thing.

And no, i don't think they are brainwashed at all, given the choice they would probably freely choose communism, and that is all well and fine with me, but it's not the way i chose to live

The thing that sucks about it is that with their system they will totally kill us in the world marketplace, what is better than having a bunch of workers that don't get paid much and don't ask for anything? Their are two ways to compete with them, either become like them, or make them more like us, I chose the latter, because i like my freedom.

Uh, standing back? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381680)

standing back and doing nothing while japan raped and pillaged their country

Uh, standing back? Hardly. Even before World War II the USA was sending support to the Chinese Nationalist government. Have you ever heard of the Flying Tigers? Claire Chenault? The gunboat Panay?

There were a long set of instances of USA aiding the Chinese against Japan. These included not only the direct military aid that I mentioned, but also a number of economic tools placed against Japan. Ultimately, prior to World War II, the USA and her allies would cut off Japan from all steel and oil imports, which really cramped their style. In response, the Japanese assembled a fairly powerful navy, and attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor. The idea was to bloody America's nose enough to allow Japan a free hand in China. But, the USA instead built the world's largest navy, largest air force, beat the Japanese back to their little islands, firebombed them and nuked them - twice -, at a loss of hundreds of thousands of American casualties.

If that's not helping China, then I do not know what is.

he thing that sucks about it is that with their system they will totally kill us in the world marketplace, what is better than having a bunch of workers that don't get paid much and don't ask for anything?

Won't happen. People have a knack for wanting to speak their mind when they are economically empowered. If you've got someone who is completely dependent, then they will do anything to eat. But if that person is eating, then he or she will not long tolerate not having his or her opinions matter. Political change will come in China, but it is something only the Chinese people can bring about. The best way to help the Chinese become free, is to help them economically.

Re:Uh, standing back? (1)

Dallas Caley (1262692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381962)

I bow before your obvious superiority in WWII knowledge, I'm more into ancient history

The only comment i have is regarding your last line "The best way to help the Chinese become free, is to help them economically."

I totally agree... will not having the Olympics in China be a boon to their economy?

BTW, have a smoke dang it! never trust a quitter

Re:Uh, standing back? (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23382108)

The only comment i have is regarding your last line "The best way to help the Chinese become free, is to help them economically."

Free trade, has to have that "free" part in it to work, you know.

I totally agree... will not having the Olympics in China be a boon to their economy

That's pretty funny. For me, I thought Carter's withdrawal from the Olympics in 1980 was wrong. The Olympics are supposed to be a worldwide truce where people engage in sport. While I do not agree with what the Chinese government does, I also think it is wrong to use participation in the Olympics as a political point, and I think the torch protesters in Europe really made me feel ashamed to be a westerner. It's a truce, you know.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (4, Interesting)

wumingzi (67100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380336)

As Americans, we look at China and say "well why don't they want freedom?" The reality is that they don't even have a concept of what our type of freedom is, for them it's probably something to be feared because that's what they have been told. But the more that the people are exposed to the western world the more they may realize what it is that they are missing out on

Um, No.

First, the Olympics won't do much except to bring a bunch of well-fed non-Chinese speaking tourists to Beijing. These are only unlike well-fed Chinese-speaking tourists in the sense that they, well, won't speak Chinese.

China has a large middle class and a lot of rich idiots. The only difference is that there are a lot more poor folks in China than there are of the first two, which brings those "average income" numbers down. It's not like this will be the first chance Beijingren will have to see someone who hasn't skipped a meal recently.

Second, and I have to be very measured in what I say here, you need to understand something about the "cultural DNA" of China. The West, especially the US, is a very individualistic society. We will put up with a certain quantity of crime, homelessness, etc. as a consequence of this individualism. This isn't a "god damn America" indictment. It's a deal we've all made with each other. We like our personal freedoms, and have decided to accept a certain level of the bad in order to get the good. What tinkering is done with our social safety net is done with this background.

Chinese society comes from a more collectivist background. This does not mean that Chinese like repression, or will always reflexively listen to elders and betters. However, it does mean that there is an expectation that the state will provide public order. In short, in the interest of maintaining a well-ordered society, you can give up a little individual freedom.

Many of my in-laws from Taiwan (a free, democratic, thoroughgoingly capitalist Chinese society) find American culture to be strange and alien. The big houses and the lawns are nice, as is the open space and clean air, but what's up with all these people staggering around downtown drunk and drugged out of their mind with nowhere to sleep? Don't they have family to take care of them or something? Why on earth do they allow anyone to go to a store and buy a gun? Doesn't that encourage criminals? Isn't someone going to write a law to stop this?

Even when I talk to people in China (who have some incomplete knowledge of what the US is like), you get some interesting discussions about how the world should be put together.

Chinese taxi driver: "American houses are very big, and you have lots of land with them. That must be really nice."

Me: "Yes, but the other side of that is that it's not very convenient. You need a car to go to the market, or to visit friends, or to go out to eat."

Driver: "So you can't just walk to all of those things?"

Me: "No. They're often several kilometers away."

Driver: "Oh, that's no good at all. I wouldn't like that a bit."

Assuming that life in the USA is the apogee of human civilization and that all societies will inherently want to move in that direction as quickly as possible displays ignorance at best and arrogance at worst. Get out and see a bit of how things are put together elsewhere before making assumptions about what other people want.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

wumingzi (67100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380456)

(addendum to self... hit the submit button too fast).

Note that after having lived lots of other places, I live in the US. Like anyplace else, there's good and bad. I've decided the good substantially outweighs the bad, but there's more than one way to put that together. My in-laws all (theoretically) have the right to immigrate here. None of them have shown the slightest interest in doing so. Big houses and clean air doesn't make up for the fact that people talk funny and the food is all wrong.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

amasiancrasian (1132031) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381018)

I wish I had mod points to mod you up because your post is one of those few posts that I really would like to mod up. What I can't understand is the Western mentality and sudden build of hate towards China. The Olympics is supposed to be a happy thing--yet people manage to connect something bad about China with it.

It seems that the Western media has been trying to pick a fight with China ever since the media tension of Iraq and September 11 attacks have begun to fade from recent memory. Now we hear stories of Chinese military build-ups, Cafferty of CNN labeling Chinese people as a bunch of fraudsters, etc. Why so much hate?

China isn't perfect, but Tibet and the Dalai Lama are far from it. This Dalai isn't for real, is he? Were he real, how can a good buhdda monk ran a counry with 95% of its people were bounded slaves in all his so called previous lives? The communist Chinese were no angels, but they did liberate all Tibetans from the 9 ranked unhumane fudeal society; except they were not Tibetans...

Dalai Lama was lording it up in his huge palace while the slave population was worked to death to provide him with more riches? And when the monks were raping young boys as punishment? I suggest you put down the CIA paid-for propaganda and start reading history books. Then you might not support the Dalai Bin Lama. The image of the Dalai Lama is as fake as China's own propaganda.

I really question why the Western world is so much in love with the idea of Tibet when they can't even get their facts straight.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

Dallas Caley (1262692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381702)

I do not assume that America is the "apogee of human civilization" but it is the place where i happen to live right now, and i like it.

And those who chose to live differently than me are welcome to do so, however we are more and more becoming a global society which means that we will all be competing directly for the same resources

The Chinese method is clearly more efficient than our own and they will undoubtedly win the global economic war which is currently being waged. One of our defenses against this is to try and make them more like us, show their people what they could have so that they may ask for more (and in turn make them less efficient, effectively leveling the playing field).

Time for a history lesson:

For hundreds of years (if not thousands) China has regarded itself as the center of the world, the further away you were from China, the more worthless you were. It was for these reasons that they would export far more than they would allow in. This was destructive to the economies of the rest of the world so in order to fight back we (the west) have always looked for ways to get our products/influence into china. the opium wars in the 1800's were a perfect example of this. It is China's own arrogance that makes us act the way the way that we do.

The west see's China as an invading army of merchants ready to undercut their prices to the point of running us out of business. It's only natural for us to fight against this.

What does this have to do with the Olympics? not sure, perhaps it will do as i said and make them desire our culture, or maybe it will just make them hate their own government by illustrating their opulant disregard for the public well-being. Anything which serves the purpose of reducing their isolation from the rest of the world is good in my book.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381366)

If it goes anything like the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the "non-trusted elements" will not be allowed anywhere close to the concentration of foreigners.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

Dallas Caley (1262692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381752)

probably true.

That does make me wonder however, if there is a connection at all between the '80 Olympics and the eventual fall of the Soviet Union

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

^_^x (178540) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380122)

Agreed. And the massive corporate pandering the DOES go along with the olympics only serves to legitimize everything they're already doing in terms of human rights, worker safety, environmental devestation, etc...

And for that, without getting too politically detailed, the olympics and all of their most prominent sponsors are dead to me. Regardless, even without the moral reprehensibility of it, all I see in them these days is giant multinational corporations and overpaid bigwigs throwing a huge party for themselves. Nothing motivates a country to clean up and renovate a city faster than being designated an olympic site - forget about the needs of the people, that's not good enough. Kind of the largest scale version of living in squalor but cleaning up and putting out the good silverware when company's coming.

Re:What kind of stupid question is this? (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381100)

At the very best, it allows rival groups to fight each other in a less murderous way for a bit (and even that isn't a given, see Munich 1972, Atlanta bombing).

Melbourne, 1956, Hungarians vs Russians in water polo...

rj

Encryption is the People's enemy (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379462)

If you read the "SHA-1" article on wikipedia, you'll see it is Chinese scientists that first discovered weak points in the widely used algorithm.
In China, there are state-funded CS projects aimed at cracking SSL, SSH and alike. Apart from military uses, they are mainly used to implement censorship over private, encrypted communications.
China can't ban its citizens use encrytion on the legal level. If so, many business (e.g. online banking, and everything using HTTPS) would not exist. But they are working hard so that when they decide to pwn you they'll be able to make it.

Re:Encryption is the People's enemy (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379520)

As if the Chinese government needed a legal reason to hunt someone down and remove them.

The problem with this (1)

Xenaero (1223656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379558)

Doesn't lie in the people, really. The government is hell-bent on keeping its iron grip on the people. Think about this for a minute, if more people knew about proxies, wouldn't they be using them? I almost never see any Chinese online anywhere, so I assume that the vast majority, obviously, don't know about them. This is a fear factor. If you lived over there, wouldn't you be scared to death that you were found out finding a way out of China's protective bubble?

I might be over-reacting here with such an irrelevant, out of the blue statement, but look at Burma/Myanmar. The government there clearly knew about the incoming threat, and neglected to warn the people there. How do they expect to let the people figure out for themselves that a storm is approaching? By the same token, how do we expect anyone except for the elite few Chinese to even be aware that there is a world out there on the internet waiting to be discovered outside of the protective bubble?

Point being, if you control the one thing people nowadays depend on, that being the media, there is nothing you can't do to them. We already know this about China, but again, consider the fact that with little to no education for the majority of Chinese, how in the world would anyone but a handful even know the existence of such workarounds?

most of people don't read english... (1)

_Qiang_ (560206) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379678)

most of people in china don't read english at all so the information from west are useless to them. the firewall is bad for people who can read english but are computer-illiterate. i can get through the proxy with either tor(tor.eff.org) or ssh tunnel. i prefer ssh tunnel as tor's speed is not reliable.

Error 503! (1)

Acid-Duck (228035) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379710)

I got an error 503 the first few times I tried accessing this story, was that supposed to be a joke a or is the great firewall of China watching my every move!? *puts on his tinfoil hat*

duh, people (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379822)

I thought it was common knowledge that there was a massive FibreBone coming into an old 486 running Squid and Squidguard?

Author (1)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379896)

Seems funny to interview a magazine author. Why doesn't he just write an article about it?

Unpredictable!?* (1)

hey (83763) | more than 6 years ago | (#23379984)

I find the comment that the firewall is unpredictable to be interesting. Do Slashdoters think that this is on purpose so it can't be studied and subverted or is it just a case of banning the BBC when they have anti-Chinese content or is it just a case of a huge bureaucracy being contradictory (as they often are).

In a Related Story (1)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380048)

With VPNs and proxies, you can get around it pretty easily.
In a Related Story: Comcast is set to begin operations in China.

Question: HongKong? (1)

victorl19 (879236) | more than 6 years ago | (#23380464)

Does anyone know if Hong Kong is covered by the great firewall?

Re:Question: HongKong? (1)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381086)

No.

Re:Question: HongKong? (1)

liquidf (1146307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381346)

nope. hong kong has been pretty much left alone across the board. they have a chinese "overseer", but they make their own laws (for the most part) and, in my opinion, the chinese reds are smart enough to realize it is too economically important to change much, at least right now.

please (1)

atamagabakkaomae (1241604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23381792)

let this be the last article on /. on the subject "can i use a proxy to get around china`s firewall?" for a while. The existance of the thing itself is already annoying enough, but in the end almost noone in China really cares all the much anymore.
Recently the subject seems to be used as a chance to point the finger at bad bad red red China all over again.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>