There was a delicious irony to the coverage of a speech by Zhang Chunxian, the party chief of Xinjiang, to journalists. In the authoritarian, one-party state, Chinese leaders speak matter-of-factly about censoring reporters and blocking free speech. In this case, Zhang spoke about the vulnerability of the system of censorship maintained by him and other party bosses. His remarks were then censored by his own censors. Just another day in the worker’s paradise.
After a meeting of the National People’s Congress, Zhang discussed violence in Xinjiang involving ethnic Uighurs. Zhang explained that 90 percent of “violent terrorists” use a VPN, a virtual private network, to evade the “Great Firewall” system of censors. He acknowledged that the Great Firewall could in fact be circumvented. It turns out that the Great Firewall is huge but easily evaded . . . much like its namesake, the Great Wall of China.
His comments were posted at 8:30 pm on Thursday but by Friday, censors deleted his comments on censorship.
It was too late. Articles had already appeared on sites Jinghua Times, a Beijing newspaper, and reprinted on the websites like Caijing and the Chinese-language edition of Global Times.
Source: NY Times