China blocks all Google services as new leader anointed
Great Firewall locks down Middle Kingdom
The Great Firewall of China swung shut on Google this Friday as the Communist Party prepares to anoint its new leader, with search, Gmail, and other subdomains run by Google completely dead.
The move comes as the ruling elite in China are gathered at the 18th National Congress in Beijing to
anoint elect the new glorious leader Xi Jinping as president of the Middle Kingdom, with Li Keqiang expected to be named as the new premier.
Internet speeds across the country were well below normal levels on Friday, and it seems likely that the move to shut down Google is intended to stifle any protests or debate on the topic, rather than a problem such as the one that took down the Chocolate Factory earlier this week.
"We've checked and there's nothing wrong on our end," a Google spokesperson told El Reg.
Google's own Transparency Report, which monitors the state of the internet in countries around the world, reports a sharp drop-off in Google's traffic beginning at midnight on Friday. The company originally posted a warning that the traffic drop needed to be verified, but has not confirmed that the lock-down is complete.
The move comes as the Chinese government has been taking extraordinary efforts to make sure that the handover of power goes smoothly. According to The New York Times, these steps range from a general slowdown in internet access across the country, the removal of books on Chinese politics from bookshops, and even the banning of balloons, which could apparently be used to display anti-government messages. ®
To quote from one of those articles: "[The Chinese Government] see the state as the embodiment and guardian of Chinese civilisation. Its most important responsibility - bar none - is maintaining the unity of the country."
No, what they see is that their power and authority (and no doubt lots of very nice perks) come from keeping the lid on anything that might undermine their power, because they've got a really cushy number and don't want to lose it which is what will happen when their general populace realise exactly how corrupt their entire system is.
They may throw the occasional sacrificial lamb out when someone does something so egregiously wrong that they can't simply cover it up, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Re: Is China really a Tier 1 Nation?
"everyone I talked to said how much better it is now than in the Cultural Revolution times"
That's what we call "damning with faint praise".
Re: And does the US impose sanctions?
AND they have the NUCLEAR BOMB!
Hmmm... by that logic, they should sanction Israel.