The Great Firewall: Internet Censorship in China

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Harry Jiang
The Great Firewall: Internet Censorship in China

Four years ago, when Fang Binxing, the main designer of the Chinese Internet Censorship System walked out of the auditorium after a lecture, a student of Wuhan University made his way through the crowd and threw eggs and shoes on Fang Binxing. According to the witnesses, the student first tried to throw an egg but missed; he then quickly took off his shoe and hit Fang Binxing with it. This little incident has brought great attention, both in and out of China, to the long existing problem of Internet Censorship in China. 

The world has seen China's great achievements in terms of economic growth. However, the political structure in China remains unchanged. The nature of the monopoly of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) means that the CPC will take necessary measures to preserve its authority. The Chinese government fears that with more and more Chinese people using the Internet, some information will be potentially detrimental to the stability of the political regime. As a result, websites that may "potentially" have a different influence on Chinese people's political thoughts have been blocked. 

Now, the Chinese government focuses on the idea of "Internet sovereignty" to refute arguments against the Internet censorship in China. ( The Chinese government will not tear down the Great Firewall of China in the future or it risks its political structure of the single-party monopoly. But if this situation continues, China will always be one step behind in terms of political freedom.

According to Article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which China has ratified, "Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." Clearly China fails to hold on to this as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. 

The following is an article from The New York Times. You may have a better understanding of the current situation in China by reading this article.


  • Censorship/Freedom of Expression