Chinese authorities put their foot down this weekend at one of the biggest tourist attractions in Beijing: Wang Fu Jing Street.
Hundreds of policemen and plain clothed officers showed up to block any “Egypt-style” protests. Reports said telecom companies blocked 3G Internet services in the areas where protests were planned, to make sure that protesters could not upload pictures in real time.
Not only did officials fence up the popular shopping areana with fake construction to stop people from going in, but they also added Wangfujing to the list of terms on China’s censored list along with Jon Huntsman, US Ambassador to China, and Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State among others. China has also deleted songs or other titles that have the word Jasmine in them.
Searching for “王府井” and “Wangfujing”now yields the following error message, “According to relevant laws and regulations, the search results may not be shown.”
I think that the unrest in the Middle East has really had a profound effect on the Chinese that want change in their government system. I feel that in today’s day and age with technology, though China will have a very tough time cracking down on protestors. Many people during the Tiananmen protests tried to forget about those events, but I think the Jasmine Revolution will force Chinese officials to rethink their game plan and to seriously reflect on the repercussions of any rash form punishment they try to inflict on the protestors or media. I think this may even create additional tension between China and Hong Kong. Many protestors are demonstrating in Hong Kong as well and Hong Kong has been traditionally very weary of China’s political stance. This could rouse old flames between the two. The world is watching China. It’d be interesting to see if the Jasmine Revolution will be successful.