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03-Feb-2018 19:28

Since the opening of its economy under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping in the 1980s, the country has undergone drastic changes.

These changes are especially apparent in the information communication technology (ICT) sector, which has become a subject of considerable significance within PRC policy and discourse.1 With the total number of Chinese netizens surpassing 450 million at the end of 2010, the Internet has become increasingly embedded in Chinese society and progressively more central to the flow of information within and across Chinese borders.2 Although recent and current administrations have emphasized the importance of Internet development, Chinese policymakers are also wary of the potentially crippling effects that these changes could have on the CCP’s ability to contain sensitive or threatening information.3 As changing dynamics in China’s relationship with the international community present new opportunities for increased dialogue, the CCP has focused significant energy on developing new ways of maintaining close regulation of the information accessed and disseminated within the PRC.

The protests, which appeared to have started peacefully, began as a result of discontent among Uighur citizens following the murder of several Uighur workers in a Guangdong toy factory.12 Though it is unclear what sparked the violence, conflict quickly erupted between Han and Uighur residents, leading to at least 197 deaths and more than 1,600 injuries.13 The Urumqi riots, China’s most serious case of civil unrest in decades, led to severe and calculated clampdowns on local and national media and telecommunication networks.

Unlike the case of the Tibetan protests of 2008, the Chinese government allowed — and even encouraged — foreign media coverage of the Xinjiang riots.

In March 2010, after a series of strained negotiations between Google and Chinese authorities, the company finally made good on its threat to stop filtering content, stating that it would redirect all traffic from to its unfiltered Chinese-language site, hk, based in Hong Kong.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a one-party state ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).In April 2009 the State Council Information Office issued its first “National Human Rights Action Plan of China,” which, in addition to numerous other commitments, promised that “the state will take effective measures to develop the press and publications industry and ensure that all channels are unblocked to guarantee citizens’ right to be heard.”10 However, throughout the year China continued to tighten censorship and increase control over public media and discussion, showing little potential for progress toward this goal.In preparation for numerous important milestones, including the 60th anniversary of the PRC’s founding, the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising and retreat of the Dalai Lama to India (and one year since the 2008 protests in Tibet organized on the same date), the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, and the tenth anniversary of the Falun Gong spiritual movement being outlawed, the ruling party began the year carefully poised to tighten restrictions surrounding these sensitive dates.11 In July 2009, violent clashes broke out in Urumqi, the capital of the western province of Xinjiang.However, events of the coming year led to a series of tightened restrictions and intensified controls.The year 2009 was a critical one in the trajectory of China’s Internet restrictions and censorship.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is a one-party state ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In April 2009 the State Council Information Office issued its first “National Human Rights Action Plan of China,” which, in addition to numerous other commitments, promised that “the state will take effective measures to develop the press and publications industry and ensure that all channels are unblocked to guarantee citizens’ right to be heard.”10 However, throughout the year China continued to tighten censorship and increase control over public media and discussion, showing little potential for progress toward this goal.

In preparation for numerous important milestones, including the 60th anniversary of the PRC’s founding, the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising and retreat of the Dalai Lama to India (and one year since the 2008 protests in Tibet organized on the same date), the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, and the tenth anniversary of the Falun Gong spiritual movement being outlawed, the ruling party began the year carefully poised to tighten restrictions surrounding these sensitive dates.11 In July 2009, violent clashes broke out in Urumqi, the capital of the western province of Xinjiang.

However, events of the coming year led to a series of tightened restrictions and intensified controls.

The year 2009 was a critical one in the trajectory of China’s Internet restrictions and censorship.

However, Google’s actions have directed widespread international attention to the censorship practices of the PRC government; heightened global awareness of issues surrounding targeted malware attacks, Internet controls, and human rights; and placed the actions of the Chinese authorities and their manipulation of cyberspace in the international spotlight.