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!