Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Safely Back from China

I have returned from China without getting arrested once for my opinions.

I have learned that there are more books on the "classic" banned/challenged list than I thought might be available, at least in English. I am not sure about Chinese but I did manage to buy a copy of a Harry Potter book.

I also found out that the great Firewall of China can't possibly keep the Chinese from hearing what is happening in the rest of the world. Neither can one government silence its people. Some people in China who are on the Internet have a non-Chinese account set up on a server somewhere outside of China.

TV was not for entertainment, rather for education. In China, the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) was the major news source, along with an Asia CNN version. HBO was available but the movies were repeated quite often with content that was likely picked for a Chinese audience. The movies were quite tame in comparison to Canada. Once and a while during a newscast, there would be a few minutes of snow. I was told that the content was likely being censored by the government.

American news sites were not available on the Internet but I guess Canadian ideas are not considered dangerous since the CBC was always available.

As more and more foreign workers bring their skills to China, I see the possibility for more and more freedom of speech in China, since many of the workers are technologically advanced.

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