back to article China blocks YouTube

The Chinese government blocked access to YouTube on Sunday after videos of the protests in Tibet were posted on the video sharing site. The whole website was blocked, not just specific videos as happened recently in Pakistan. The site today, from London, has almost as many videos opposing the Tibetan demonstrators as it does …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    You really get used to the media

    Portaying China as the terrible tyranny where people live in abject fear of everything all the time. It's incredible how much bias there is, especially in the BBC coverage of China.

    Paris, because she's got more idea of what life is like in China than people who rely on western media.

  2. Adam West


    Because a country that routinely arrests people for suggesting that democracy might be a good idea is clearly being treated unfairly by the media.

    Grow up.

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "people live in abject fear of everything all the time"

    I imagine that most people in China lead lives like yours or mine, with the same concerns; but there are some things that they know not to mention in earshot of a policeman, and certain topics they are careful not to discuss outside a small circle of close friends.

    You could say that the same is true in Britain... and my argument falls apart at this point, because (a) you can be shot for being Brazilian and (b) you can be arrested for protesting outside parliament. Erm. Bring back Thatcher!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    @ Adam West

    As opposed to our wonderful democracy who arrest people on terrorism charges for heckling at a Labour Party conference?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    If only.......

    the rest of us could block youbook and myface etc..........

  7. steogede
    IT Angle

    @ Michael

    >> (b) Zoos are closing all the time, there are plenty of struggling Llamas who love his job if they had the chance.

    I think they should give it to an Alpaca next time.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No tyranny in China! yeah sure!

    And they don't executed political prisoners then harvest their body organs either, and the fact they have admitted this is supposedly a western lie too?

    Why not go to Tiananmen square and then mention the massacre to one of the many many soldiers there, see what the response is.

    Yeah! the media is bias, but on some grounds they have good merit.

  9. JP
    Black Helicopters

    @Adam West

    Yeah, as if kidnapping people (sometimes your own citizens, but definitely citizens of "friends") and shipping them off to foreign lands (via your complicit friends) to torture and hold for a few years is much better.

    It all depends on perspective. And who says democracy is the ultimate good? Seen the US lately? Think that the greed would have grown so out of control under a dictatorship? Now who's paying for the ability to buy power? UK's not too far behind, with bribes and kickbacks to Middle Eastern countries for weapons that they then turn on their own people.

    And I really wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't some western influence escalating the current drama in Tibet, helping/baiting the Tibetians to escalate. Where would Tibetians get guns from?

    So maybe, rather than telling others to grow up, you might want to look at your own government first, then at what you think you would do with 1.3 billion people.

    Helicopters, because if the Chinese don't come after me, the US probably will!

  10. Stuart Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Is the Chinese Government posting here?

    Michael wrote:

    "The Dalai Llama should consider 2 things before mouthing off again (a) If he wants his face on TV all the time, well, people need TVs to see it."

    Ahem - I think you will find the DL doesn't want his face on TV. He merely wants it and the rest of his body to be allowed to live freely in Tibet. Know who has a problem with that?

    "Zoos are closing all the time, there are plenty of struggling Llamas who love his job if they had the chance."

    Only if approved by the Chinese Government. Funnily enough I think the UK is the only other major country where the government appoints its major religious leader. But that is an accident of history, not a way of trying to control the political future of a country (sorry Province. Tibetans are not allowed to express an opinion on that).

    Enjoy your really cool (Chinese) TV.

  11. 3x2

    @Adam West

    Made me laugh years ago (78?) when the last of the old guard passed and the BBC wheeled out Edward Heath to comment. The news guy says "And do you think we will see a move to democracy become a priority now in China?" "No" say's EH, "The priority will remain feeding 1 billion+ people 3 meals a day".

    The Chinese have their own priorities and their own way of dealing with things. I'm pretty sure that Western Democracy, especially post 9/11, has little to teach them about "freedom".

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blame the media not the readers or governments???

    If you were faced with increasing (relative) poverty in the countryside or oppression in the city were would you go/stay? You don't have a right to leave - unless you want to become a "cockle picker" in Lancashire and then you're in the hands of very unscrupulous people. UK doesn't do internal exile or judicial execution (?) so we do have a bit of a mole hill to stand on, don't we?

    Check your history, please. I understand Tibet had, for the most part, only been in the "sphere of influence" of the Chinese Empire and was never part of the PRC until invaded. A bit like "France" and "England" until 1066?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...Think that the greed would have grown so out of control under a dictatorship?..."

    Dictatorships are *all about* the out of control greed of a few people. And the Chinese dictatorship is encouraging the same commercial greed that drives America, and it can shoot anyone who says it's doing anything wrong.

  14. Glyn

    Democracy is a lie

    There can be no democracy until we ban political parties!

    Your MP is supposed to represent you, where what they actually do is represent whatever the head of their political party tells them to.

    If everyone in the land said "no", but Gordon says "yes" which way do the party's MPs vote?

    In th'olden days the leaders used to have to debate the merits of their proposal and convince their friends and opponents why they were right. Now they just say yes/no/abstain and the party does what they're told apart from a few "brave" individuals who break ranks to the death of their career.

  15. Stuart Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    "The Chinese have their own priorities and their own way of dealing with things. I'm pretty sure that Western Democracy, especially post 9/11, has little to teach them about "freedom"".

    True. But then I don't think the Tibetans are too happy with the Chinese version either. Why not let them choose?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    @ JP

    Quote: "Seen the US lately? Think that the greed would have grown so out of control under a dictatorship?"

    That has to be the stupidest thing I have ever read.

    No, really.

  17. Chris Collins

    Tibetan Empire

    There was actually a Tibetan Empire in the 7th century, so no, they aren't Chinese (Han) any more than the Uigurs are. 1949 they were invaded.

  18. Chris

    Am I the only one?

    That thought China had already banned youtube?

  19. Anthony Sanford

    Do you get the feeling there is a bt of Chinese damage control going one here

    Reading the posts here, I get the strong impression that somebody is trying to engage in damage control.

    Well I have some bad new for them, we have grown out of believing simplistic propaganda.

    We have enough reports and blogs from people and NGOs that have been to Tibet to get a good idea of what is going on there.

    My suggestion is to stick to selling your propaganda to to your own people, we don't buy it.

  20. Spleen

    Re: Stuart

    The UK's main religious leader is Jeremy Kyle. Don't believe me? Watch his show sometime - the whole thing is a religious ceremony in which the lesson for the day is announced, then some heretics are brought up and publicly castigated for straying from the path, and finally they are redeemed and receive a suitable heavenly reward.

    I don't know how many millions of people watch it every day, but I guarantee it's more than the average daily attendance at the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is more the chairman of a heritage foundation than someone people look to for moral guidance.

  21. Julian Cook

    Is it not time to pull out of the Olympics?

    Why are we still going

  22. Anonymous Coward


    "And who says democracy is the ultimate good?"

    Pretty much everyone who has the choice.

    Democracy may not be perfect, but at least you get a say in the imperfections you'll be living under, and if you don't like them you're free to take part in the process and try to change it; try changing the system that's happy to drive a tank over you.

    and @ Glyn

    "In th'olden days the leaders used to have to debate the merits of their proposal and convince their friends and opponents why they were right. Now they just say yes/no/abstain and the party does what they're told apart from a few "brave" individuals who break ranks to the death of their career."

    I take your point about political parties, but the debate is about China where the brave individuals who break ranks often get actual death.

  23. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    The national question

    No tub-thumping English imperialist has any moral authority to lecture China about how to deal with separate nations inside or outside their political jurisdiction. Tasmania, India, China itself (the opium wars), Wales, Scotland and Ireland are just a few reasons why not.

    The thing is, nations need to deal with their own affairs in their own way. And if they don't get to do this, they will fight whoever's preventing them. This problem is still with us, all over the world (often as a hangover of Empire). Both the Russian and the Chinese Stalinist regimes were/are chauvinist boneheads in this respect. The USSR made life in Afghanistan better in many ways (gender opportunities, education, health), but failed utterly to turn this into popularity (this is the answer to the old "What have the Romans done for us?" jibe). Same thing more or less in Tibet with the Chinese. Christ knows the old feudal monkish regime was vicious, but Tibetans are quite capable of dealing with religious crap themselves - at least as well as any other human beings are.

    And basically none of this has anything to do with the Olympics except in as far as it's a nationalist extravaganza for the ruling classes. Boycotting places like the USSR or China for political reasons is just kneejerk imperialist red-baiting - real old-fashioned zombie stuff - if the same boycotters don't boycott the US or Britain for similar reasons.

    (Paris is wondering what the fuck the National Question has got to do with anything but cash registers...)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    you know

    I know a good few Chinese who like their government, I also know a good few who dislike their government. However I think that the numbers infavour of their government are far higher then the numbers in favour of ours (UK) if you ask anyone on the street or even in the safety of their own homes.

    Anyway - who cares - we kill afghans and iraqis they kill tibetans.It's all the same junk just with different marketing.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    @David Corbett

    No, he's right.

  26. Glyn


    Most of us don't get a say in which self-serving eedjut gets to be our MP. We live in a country where of some 40 million odd voters they reckon only about 8000 floating voters actually count in the very marginal seats. In Stoke the Labour party could put a cucumber up for election and it'd get in (sometimes you'ld be hard pressed to tell the difference between a cucumber and the actual candidate)

    It carries on down to local area/town elections.

    Candidates rely on the populous identifying with a party so they never bother to outline their individual opinions/values/beliefs themselves. I've never seen hustings advertised at elections of any level. In the time I've been able to vote, 12 years or so, I've had 5 or 6 election leaflets posted through the door, none of which said what that person stood for. "Vote A Smith he's Labour", "Vote R Jones he's LibDem" is all you get.

    Apart from the activist coming round on polling day saying "You haven't voted" to which you reply "Yes, I know" how these people are allowed to know who has and hasn't voted is another rant for another time ;)

    *If* you can find a copy of a party's manifesto and look at the claims they make, then you think about how much of the incumbent's last manifesto has been followed through, you soon realise how pointless these documents are.

    Voter apathy doesn't exist because we don't have text voting, it exists because we don't have anyone worth voting for whose opinions/values/beliefs we know/agree with on an individual level.

    And you're not free to change the system as once you get into it, you become part of it. The networks you have to build and the money you need to get into politics at even a local level means you're tied into the rigmarole from the outset.

    I'ld love to find someone to vote for, but as no-one appears to want my vote I'll not give it away to someone I've never heard or heard of.

    Back on topic ;)

    China with a 1 party system is the ultimate extension of what I'm saying. Democratic elections with only 1 party to vote for isn't...well...democratic. Democracy without a choice is just wasting paper and pencils.

  27. Stuart Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    The Chinese Government and friends are already here.

    Or is there any other explanation for posts that see any question of their way as that exclusively of "tub thumping imperialists" and similar?

    I could forgive one post doing their thing by accident - but am I paranoid about a pattern of posting here which is strangely atypical of the normal diversity and skepticism we see in this glorious organ ...

    But keep on posting - that is your right ... however convincing arguement rather than abuse may be more effective.

  28. Jamie Davis


    "No tub-thumping English imperialist has any moral authority to lecture China..."

    Not that I'm taking sides but your argument is ad homini. If we ignored arguments on the grounds of hypocrisy then alot of good movements would have been stymied from the start. There are those who say that Martin Luther was anti-semitic. Objectively, he could have been a paedophile, mass murderer and morris dancer: It wouldn't have altered the validity of his cause one jot.

    Everyone has a right to say whatever they want, if you ignore those who might be hypocrites there'll be not arguments... hmmm, now there's a thought.

  29. Anthony Sanford

    Yea gods, its like going back in time

    "No tub-thumping English imperialist has any moral authority..."

    Wow, its like going back in time, nobody uses terminology like that, especially as it is semantically meaningless.

    In the end, this is about choice, the choice about what to believe what to say and to whom.

    The ultimate expression of that freedom of choice is the freedom to criticize, moan, Bitch and satirize our own government and leaders.

    So do any of those freedoms, stated above, exist in China? if so please give us some examples to look at.

    Please don't try and tell us that the Chinese government and leaders are perfect and therefore there is no criticism.

  30. Peyton

    All media hype?

    While I may not agree with it, I can at least understand the viewpoint that the US and others rely on media-spin to justify their actions. But at least they can claim some attack (i.e., 9/11) that they are responding to.

    What crime did the Tibetans commit to warrant being invaded? It's not exactly comparing apples and apples to compare their plight to the current Mid-East conflict... And to say that historically, we've acted in the same way, so let's *not* learn from that and do anything about it, is fairly ridiculous.

    If you want to be self-centered and ignore the many atrocities that occur daily in this world - that's fine. But don't try and justify your apathy with bad analogies...

  31. MXS
    Dead Vulture

    take minutes to be a member

    I spend several minutes to be a member of this web though the questions confuse me(it is a IT web?whatever) There are 56 nations together in China. The news about why I cannot access to youtube on some websites are also blocked. I suppose there are more cultural differences between China and West than you can image let along political ones. My teacher once said there are much more negtive news about China reported on western countries. I guess it is true. Here we have more negtive news: another gunshot in American campus instead of another improvement in health care. The reason, simply, two different societies. Western countries' governments are afraid to be communism one and vice versa. By the way I donot have any chance to watch such videos, is it such serious? My account on youtube... I have unread messages. When will it be ok again? I have never heard the news until I searched in English. I prefer to believe this happened in Cuba. Out of my imagination.

  32. Anthony Sanford

    To MXS

    I'm guessing English is not your native language.

    Anyway to answer your basic question, in the west we have choice, we can get news and analysis from anywhere in the world.

    I would guess that many of the regular members of this site don't get their news from just one source, I don't.

    The point is, we have the choice as to where we get our information and make our own minds up as to its veracity I can guarantee there would be tremendous outcry if the government tried to restrict the news for political reasons, it is one of out fundamental rights.

    Oh we know that politicians has tried to hide things, but they know (or should know) that the skeletons come out of the cupboard eventually and somebody is held responsible.

  33. Alex

    I'm confused

    Could someone explain this reasoning for me:

    Democracy has failings in the countries that use it. Therefore, citizens of those countries should only criticise their own governments.


  34. Spleen


    On the other hand, no-one in America considers Iraq as part of their territory. The Chinese see Tibet as part of China, and the Tibetan independence movement as a tool of the West, therefore "invading" Tibet is merely self-defence against the West. Imagine if the Cornish suddenly made their county ungovernable with the help of Chinese arms. Put that way it makes more sense than invading a country in response to 9/11 that had nothing to do with that attack and is an ideological enemy of the people that were.

    I'm not saying that argument's valid, I'm saying it's believable. You can come up with pretty much any argument to justify invading a country. That they're crap doesn't matter, they just have to be believable, and humans are capable of believing anything - ask L. Ron Hubbard.

  35. John A Blackley

    And all of this..........

    hot air because China blocked You Tube! Think of what might happen if they actually killed a bunch of demonstrators!


    (Sigh) As you were.

  36. Anthony Sanford


    The Chinese government may think of Tibet as part of China, what about the people? Maybe they should have a referendum, Oh wait!!

  37. Anthony Sanford

    I'm curious about somthing

    From what I know both China and Tibet surrendered to the Mongol empire in 1246.

    How does this event equate with China laying claim to Tibet?

    On that basis someone could claim most of Europe on the Basis of the Roman Empire, even though it has not existed for centuries.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "...The Chinese see Tibet as part of China..."

    They *claim* Tibet as part of China, having invaded and conquered the country. They've spent 60 years or so feeding their people propaganda, and still Tibetans consider themselves an oppressed sovereign nation.

    Let's face it, even if there was no Western involvement in the current riots, the Bejing regime would trot out the "Western Imperialist Oppressors" line because it fits the message they want to peddle.

    If you can't see the differences in "bad" that distinguish the situation in Tibet from those in Afghanistan and Iraq, then you're being wilfully ignorant.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    YouTube down in China

    Chinese colleagues now realise that every time U-tube goes down, they have something positive (?negative?) to search for (elsewhere).

    Oh the joys of censorship!

  40. ian


    I think the government-approved phrase is "tub-thumping running dog English imperialist".

  41. ratfox

    So how is history important?

    Tibet has been controlled on and off by China ever since they both were invaded by the Mongols. Though many base their claims on history, the argument is pretty much useless. London has been part of the Roman empire, now it's not. France ruled half of Europe under Napoleon, now it doesn't. United States and India used to be part of the British empire, now they're not.

    In the end, it does not matter whether Tibet was invaded by China in 1949 or if it's an old province which China temporarily lost control of. There is no legitimacy. The only thing that matters is who is controlling the situation there.

    What is happening in Kosovo is a very good example. It does not matter that Kosovo is a historical part of Serbia or that the people there have a different culture and religion. Both are true. What matters is that Serbia is not currently controlling Kosovo.

  42. ratfox

    By the way

    ...Let's not forget that Tibet has been the subject of much horse-trading between China and the British Empire at the beginning of the 20th century... Nobody seemed to think at the time the Tibetans could have their say in the matter...

  43. Peyton

    not exactly my point

    My point was that - even if it's a pretext - modern western countries can site (or depending on your perspective, make up) some provocation that they are responding to.

    As far as I'm aware, that doesn't exist for the invasion of Tibet - i.e., the Tibetans had not taken any sort of provocative action against China, and China doesn't claim that. China appears to only claim, basically, "it was our land, we're taking it back" or something to that effect. I think that siting references to other world problems that don't really tie into that theme just dilutes the issue.

    As far as the Chinese seeing Tibet as part of China - I honestly have not heard anything about that. The Chinese government, yes. But the Chinese people? Would love to hear from some of the Chinese readers following this thread if they have strong feelings on that.

  44. Andy Worth

    Politics...or not....

    To be honest, democracy, communism, whatever - no matter where you live, society always seems to be comprised of a few very rich people, most of whom have got where they are through greed and screwing other people over.

  45. multipharious
    Black Helicopters

    Made in China - for how long?

    As the world demands cheaper and cheaper goods factories are moving further and further inland to where it can be done for less. If space and its related cheap labor is an issue this growth slows.

    The next step? Logical. What happens to any country's massive manufacturing capability? Look at USA at the turn of the 1900s. Then fast forward 100 years and look at how much in the way of textile products is produced there now.

    Is this bad? I would say South Carolina and Alabama should be happy to support the infrastructure required for the BMW and Mercedes plants and transition their workforce to higher tech, but there were a lot of people that complained about closing the Textile Mills in SC. Let's forget that the Textile Mills sprouted Mill Villages paid in Mill Money and essentially enslaved anyone since that money was not negotiable with USD. Then there is the atrocious brown lung from inproper ventilation and build up of cloth fibers.

    I am sure anyone reading this from [insert affordable labor country here] might see some parallels in the manner in which labor oriented business treats the individual, until it departs.

    The fact that this or that is made in China does not cause us as individuals to turn the other way, but it might cause governments to pause for a second to consider the diplomatic and financial implications. Finally it does not allow China to behave as it might have done without a world of individuals watching on YouTube. The financial relationship is now both ways and on two levels.

    So we look at Tibet, and at least a few of us see a country that cannot defend itself against a policy of immigration forced upon it. In the end, it is more or less irrelevant to "care" and certainly the world governments do not care enough to risk a stand (and China knows it.) China will never let Tibet go as it looks to expand its borders and ease its population burden through exporting citizens. It just sets a that strengthens the case for reaching across and swallowing Taiwan? And what are we going to do about it, huh? Want a war with China to stop it?

    Who is next after that?

    Certainly not India. They can defend themselves with Nukes and are in mature growth phase themselves. So look around.

    All raw materials have spiked worldwide on the growth of China, and will continue to do so. Look at Russia and the Ukraine energy situation. Countries will in the future do what they need to secure the cost of other countries and whole populations if they think they can get away with it.

    Energy in the Gulf is protected by US military presence currently...which is the reason for the black helicopter icon. The invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq sent oil prices up, lowered the value of the dollar due to debt, and physically protects against encroachment. It also allowed the completion of the pipeline across Afghanistan.

    The cost of increased energy could be argued to have a pretty massive contribution towards slowing year over year growth in China aside from the normal factors. At the point of the invasion and immediately following, growth was 10-17% depending on whose figures one uses.

    Blood for oil folks are simpletons. They fail to see the macro reflected in the micro. The micro was big, but the macro here is a very big game.

  46. MXS


    I speak chinglish at most and I prefer to speak chinese. The territory was changing in China. Was Scotland an independent country once? I am not good at history. Do some north ireland people want be independent? The young generation we donot care too much about policy such as tw problem or whatever. Politicians are funny like kids under 10years old. Countries sometimes make friends one other while sometimes fight. I donot know what had happened in Tibet. He says and she says and I am not there watching. (I like bird, I didnot notice the image, the only bird is a dead one. Interesting to read the comments above though I did not finish not easy job for second languager to complete.)

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