Wednesday, June 3, 2009

China battens down hatches as Tiananmen anniversary nears

Beijing blocks Internet social networking sites and rips pages out of foreign newspapers before the 20th anniversary of the crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square.
There is no Twittering about Tiananmen Square, or anything else, in China this week.
In a crackdown apparently timed to the 20th anniversary Thursday of the crushing of pro-democracy demonstrations, the Chinese government has pulled the plug on the social networking site Twitter and dozens of other Internet sites and blogs.
Not to neglect the old-fashioned methods of censorship, foreign newspapers sold in Beijing in the last few days have had pages strategically ripped out.
Television screens in the diplomatic compound went black when the British Broadcasting Corp. was airing a report about Tiananmen Square, only to come back on when reports switched to the missing Air France jet.
Even though two decades have elapsed, the demonstrations remain one of the most sensitive subjects in China. The very mention of the date June 4 (when the People's Liberation Army moved in to crush the demonstrations) is banned in the Chinese press.