Saturday, March 15, 2008

Is the S#!% Hitting the Fan Yet?

In the midst of the National People's Congress, China is now facing a few challenges it would probably rather ignore. There's the economic slowdown due to the US markets (most people don't believe the Chinese economy will slow down, however). Of course, there is the usual rhetoric about that little island off the east coast of the mainland and how it is "doomed to fail" in any attempt to separate from the mainland. Last week, there were stories about the Xinjiang Uyghur separatists who were planning some terrorist activities to disrupt the Olympics. The government responded by allegedly arresting a woman on a plane to Beijing with bottles of gasoline and supposedly raiding some organizations in the northwest province.

Today, the big news is the riots in Lhasa. There are mixed stories due to the fact that Western media is banned in the area. There were plenty of stories accessible on the Internet early in the day, but most of them are now blocked (i.e. all related stories on Yahoo!, including the Asia News homepage). One of the few accessible ones is from China Daily (official English propaganda). I highly recommend reading the comments from the "intellectual" public to get an idea of the majority views from the country. There are some great photos on one of my favorite China-related blogs (The opposite End of China), but it's suddenly loading slow here and occasionally crashing. It looks like the Great Firewall of China is working as fast as the hamsters running it to block all information access. I'm also having a difficult time connecting to any news channels on my Internet TV.

Now everyone has to sit back and watch the government's reaction to any of these situations. We can hope they don't ask for advice from Burma.

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