Global Voices Advocacy - China: Bridging news on Egypt (Author - Oiwan Lam)
"The filtering of search result and the blocking of search term “Egypt” in social media websites is to prevent certain interpretation of the political situation in Egypt. The scenes of Tanks moving into the city center, the confrontation between the people and the soldiers are very likely to recall Chinese people's memory of the June 4 incident back in 1989 and the criticism of the authoritarian government in Egypt can easily turn into a political allegory in China. The propaganda department certainly has to issue censorship alert to web-portal and social media websites, where opinions can spread rapidly and become mainstream public discourses in a few hour time."
"BEIJING (Dow Jones)--Chinese authorities have blocked the word "Egypt" from searches on Twitter-like microblogging sites in an indication of concern among Communist Party leaders that the unrest there could encourage similar calls for political reform in China.
Internet censors also appeared Sunday to have deleted almost all of the comments posted beneath the few limited reports on the unrest - mostly from the state-run Xinhua news agency - that have been published on Chinese news sites in the past few days.
The strict online controls illustrate the party's concern that the Internet is providing China's citizens with a new means of information and organization that could challenge its monopoly on power, as has happened with other authoritarian governments in recent years.
Chinese authorities also stepped up their efforts to control the Internet after the "color revolutions" in the former Soviet Union in 2003-05, and the pro-democracy protests in Iran in 2009. They completely shut down Internet access in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang for several months after riots there in 2009.
China now appears to be tightening media and Internet restrictions in the run-up to once-a-decade leadership succession next year, when President Hu Jintao and six other top leaders are expected to retire from their party posts."
NIKKEI.com - China Blocks Egypt Protest Reports
"The widespread use of the Internet is a relatively new development in China, but Goldkorn says the government has moved to limit access to information about other recent global events.
"There was a similar type of censorship when there were the so-called color revolutions going on in Eastern Europe, and I think that the reasons are fairly obvious - that the government would prefer that the people don’t draw parallels to what is going on in Egypt with anything that could go on in China," Goldkorn added.
Renmin University international relations professor Shi Yinhong echoes that thinking.
"Above all, their (the Chinese government’s) first priority is to maintain social and political stability," Shi said.
Shi says the government has been concerned with public unrest since it cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrations around the country in 1989. He describes this kind of nervousness as China’s current political culture.
"This kind of political culture will shape China for a long time. So, within China, everyone knows that our government is extremely concerned about weiwang," Shi added.
"Weiwang" means maintaining social stability.
Peking University International relations professor Zhu Feng describes efforts to control Web access to information about Egypt as a "preventative countermeasure.""
VOA - China Blocks Some Internet Reports on Egypt Protests