Christmas Presents from the Chinese Government

It’s the time of year for lights, trees, bells, and creepy columns about how Christmas presents excellent opportunities for proselytizing. Even in China they’re celebrating, and the while the Chinese government may have been a bit busy fending off American ‘conspiracies’ sabotaging global efforts to combat climate change and dooming small island nations in Copenhagen this year, it didn’t stop them from picking you up a few things on the way home!

The stocking stuffer, wrapped with bright river crab-patterned paper, was chosen specially for all you internet users out there. China knows you love to surf the web, but you’re tired of all those pornographic foreign websites, and nothing irks you more than a website that isn’t registered with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Well guess what, over the next year, a fresh new crackdown on “pornography” may just require every website in the world to register with the Chinese government or be blocked. Finally! The new year is looking more harmonious already!

The true gift, though, won’t come until Christmas day itself, when Charter 08 author Liu Xiaobo is expected to be sentenced. The man wrote a document advocating democracy, equality, the rule of law, and human rights, etc. We’ve got to get him off the streets, and while nothing’s a sure bet just yet, but I feel pretty certain that all the good little boys and girls are going to see Liu Xiaobo in shackles under the tree. (UPDATE: Yup. Eleven years.)

Bad little girls and boys? Well, there’s a good chance we’ll just be getting a Grass Mud Horse.

ChinaGeeks will be taking a short break until after Christmas, probably. Forgive us for this, perhaps the bitterest ChinaGeeks post ever, but it’s been a depressing couple of weeks for freedom of speech fans who follow China. If you’re inclined to complain, be aware that you very nearly got a sarcastic parody of “The Night Before Christmas” instead of this post:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land,
Not a website dared stir out of fear they’d be banned;
The dissidents were locked up in prison with care,
Except for Liu Xiaobo, who soon would be there;
The citizens nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of river crabs danced in their heads;
And I, with my sweater and crushing headache,
Had just logged off WordPress to take a damn break…

The rest, perhaps, is best left to the imagination. Merry Christmas, everyone!

0 thoughts on “Christmas Presents from the Chinese Government”

  1. “Forgive us for this, perhaps the bitterest ChinaGeeks post ever, but it’s been a depressing couple of weeks for freedom of speech fans who follow China.”

    It’s as well to end the year by ensuring that your feet are firmly planted in the real world, Custer.

    Look forward to more permeating debate in 2010.

    Happy holidays!


  2. Eh.. I think it’s all talk. Such a move would essentially isolate Chinese internet even further from the rest of the world, and I think both netizen and government know better than that. I’d guess it would go the way of Green Dam and end up nowhere.


  3. shuaige: I think you give too much credit to the Chinese government, remember green dam?

    C.Custer: LOL at the Night before Christmas parody, Merry Christmas and thank you for this very interesting site.


  4. I could write a really bitter post, though. I just accidentally tore apart my very expensive earphones, I am forced to pay some unforeseen bills in the thousands and i have to work non-stop (not even during the evenings) till after the New Year. But one should be positive and welcome the beginning of the next necade with gratitude and determination. So, Happy Holidays~


  5. Custer,

    When he claimed that China should be British’s colony for 300 years, he became the biggert lover of CCP.

    He and idiots like Hu Jia, Wei Jinsheng, Ai Weiwei have destoryed the reputation of 6.4 among those born after 80s. For that, I will never feel sorry for them.


  6. @ Wahaha: What, exactly, did he say? Because I can’t find record of anything like that searching Baidu or Google…

    You are easily offended by anyone who says anything negative about China or its government…





    No, he made us look like fools, especially now we know he said in 1988.


  8. How does that make anyone look like fools? First of all, his point was just that China needs to Westernize to modernize completely, which (like it or not) is pretty true given the nature of international relations and the reality that China can’t just ignore everyone else on the planet forever and still keep up to pace (in fact, ignoring everyone else is how China fell behind the West in the first place; as we all know, China was originally much more developed than Europe).

    Secondly, how does that make anyone look like a fool, except perhaps him? It’s one man expressing his opinion, and he obviously phrased it in an extreme way to provoke a response (that much is very clear from the essay you linked). Honestly, what makes “you” look like fools is that some of you take it so damn seriously. One sentence from one man causing a tiny “loss of face” (not, of course, that anyone other than Chinese people even know he said that); you feel this means the man deserves eleven years his prison? His wife deserves to be deprived of her husband? All for ONE off-the-cuff remark he made in 1988?

    Or did you feel Charter 08 was really a criminal document?


  9. Whatever its intentions, that remark on the surface is undeniably inappropriate. C. Custer, the fact that you failed to say “That’s wrong” and the implication that he can make no mistakes should make you realize you’re actually deifying Liu.

    Westernization and modernization doesn’t equal colonization, which, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily bring westernization and modernization. Given the blog’s posts on Tibet, I’m assuming you have in the past criticized the claims by the Chinese government that it has brought modernization to Tibet as excuses for colonization. Why the double standard here?

    Most people do know what Liu truly meant, which is what you said above with which I mostly agree, and you’re right to say China needs modernization. But objective defense, not blind justification, of Liu is the best way to advocate his cause.


  10. Mr.Scheidenbeisser,

    Allow me answering your posts in one thread:

    I dont give a damn of what you think of me or what you think of patriotism. Think of the following questions :

    Do your elected politicians and so called free media really care about the human right ? (certainly didnt show that when it is about Iraq.)

    So I m just asking you doing us a favor : stop puting yourself on morally high ground and educate us, it is annoying and disgusting.


    Now if you really care about human right, pay attention to the hundreds of millions of child labors around world, and ask yourself “why did west democracy not deliver ?” I wont answer that as it is not related in this thread.

    Use your brain and good luck.


  11. How does that make anyone look like fools? First of all, his point was just that China needs to Westernize to modernize completely,…


    Read the link I gave you in other thread.

    That is not what he and his comrades have done after 1989.

    BTW, Chart 08 is nothing as most of them already included in the constitution of PRC, except multi-party. It was a broadway show like the show in Taiwan.


  12. @ jpg: Nonsense. If you actually read our posts on Tibet, it would be clear to you that my position is that Tibet is and should be a part of China.

    If Liu genuinely intended what he said, then yes, it was wrong, but I got the impression in that essay he was saying something intentionally extreme to provoke a response. I consider it more a rhetorical strategy than any kind of actual political suggestion. And, being a big Lu Xun fan, I enjoy myself some good extremism as a rhetorical device (Chinese culture=cannibalism, anyone?). Furthermore, I think it’s clear just from the extreme nature (300 years!) of what he suggested that he wasn’t being fully serious, but rather just trying to make a point.

    @ Wahaha: After 1989, he and his comrades were probably a bit shaken by the whole the-government-murdered-our-friends thing. It’s understandable, no? I don’t have time to read that whole article (tis Christmas, I’m off to visit family in about two seconds) but I did skim it before and I’m not sure what exactly you’re talking about. Also, I’d be interested in hearing your response to the other part of my post.


  13. @Wahaha: If you don’t give a damn what I think about you, why do you make comments then? Please answer one question – do you really think freedom of speech is not necessary for China, only because the outside world is not perfect?


  14. Mr.Scheidenbeisser,

    Dont educate me, that is what I am trying to tell you.

    Why ? your question clearly show that you dont even understand “freedom of speech”, that is why.


  15. Hello again Wahaha,

    to your first post: I’m not talking about Democracy, India, Germany, Child Labor, Iraq, or Weapon Sales, just about the right to freely express ones own opinion. Again:
    Do you think freedom of speech is not necessary for China? It can be a simple yes or no answer, if you so want.

    To the second post, let me ask two questions back:
    #1 – Where do I educate you?
    #2 – How does my question “do you really think freedom of speech is not necessary for China” clearly show that I don’t understand “freedom of speech” ?

    Thank you for your objective answer.


  16. Mr. Scheidenbeisser,

    Westerners have educated chinese for long time, a very common quote is “Do that, you will earn our respect.”

    For free speech, I will answer in the thread above this one.


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