The Chinese government’s censorship of the media and the Internet has been widely reported, and CDT has been closely tracking netizens’ resistance to such censorship. Intensified Internet controls have coincided with the Internet’s increasingly critical role in Chinese politics, a fact that the country’s leaders are well aware of. The “2010 Society Blue Paper,” published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on December 22, 2009, contained a paper titled, “2009 China Internet Public Opinion Analysis Report,” written by analysts Zhu Huaxin (祝华新), Shan Xuegang (单学刚) and Hu Jiangchun (胡江春) of the Public Opinion Monitoring and Measuring Unit of People’s Net. The following excerpts of the report have been translated by CDT’s E. Shih:
In the “2008 China Internet Public Opinion Analysis Report,” we have created the concept of “new opinion class”, to use it to describe those netizens who are concerned with news and current affairs, and express their opinions online. In recent years, they have leveraged the “All communicate to all” strength of the Internet, and expressed their views on all kinds of problems in China’s social development. They can gather consensus, transform emotions, induce action and influence society within a very short period of time. In 2009, the scale of the “new opinion class” has been expanded further. According to the survey of CNNIC, on June 30, 2009, the population of Chinese netizens reached 338 million. The online population has increased 40 million within 6 months. Internet users are more than 25% of the total population, above the world average.
In the background of the world financial crisis, all kinds of contradictions that accumulated during the economic growth and social transformation of the last thirty years have emerged, and sometimes, in some places, they have accelerated. Netizens’ willingness to express themselves and to participate [in public
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