By Ke Jin
Freedom of expression in China is a privilege, not a right.
The Communist Party has long striven to control freedom of expression in China. Websites from around the world are blocked, like Yahoo,Wikipedia and Google system. Major social media cannot be accessed, it includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, snapchat and Youtube. Also, advanced software is used to delete “sensitive” entries from the Internet. Domestic journalists who step over the invisible line of what’s permissible face being fired or even arrested, while foreign journalists face various forms of government intimidation.
China is home to the largest number of internet users in the world, also at the same time, China is home to one of the world’s most restrictive media environments.
“I think the current huff in China’s leadership over visas for The New York Times and Bloomberg is happening to a large extent because the wall between foreign and domestic news coverage has begun to fall,” says David Bandurski, editor of the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong. Nowadays, in the networked world of social media, the distinctions between foreign and domestic news coverage are actually becoming blurred. “Translated versions of foreign news can be consumed domestically almost instantaneously,” David Bandurski says. “The best solutions, from the standpoint of the Chinese leadership, may be the most old-fashioned ones: Cut the news off at its source, by making it impossible for foreign journalists to get close.”
Currently, Chinese law requires all electronic bulletin board systems to be licensed, all posts to be constantly monitored, and any inappropriate posts to be taken down. Everything you post online can be an evidence to effect your life in the future, anything you say can be used against you in court.