Letter from Shanghai: Genie of free speech dodges China’s censors – Howard W. French

From the International Herald Tribune:

Chinese Internet mavens wasted no time expressing their ire at Google for its participation in the censorship…. But for all of their disappointment, many observers of recent changes in Chinese society say the news of Google’s concessions to censorship will do little to reverse a trend toward increasingly free expression that has been reshaping this society with ever more powerful effects since the beginning of the reform era.

Last year, China ranked 159th out of 167 countries in a survey of press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders, the Paris-based international rights group. Accurately enough, rankings like this show China to be a country with a striking lack of freedom. What they fail to reflect is the rapid change afoot here, more and more of which is escaping the government’s control.

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