China has the largest population on earth and is the second largest economy now but its citizens lack political freedom as it is ruled by an authoritarian communist party. Political freedom being a basic need of any people, the Chinese doesn’t have real progress without it. This freedom includes the right to freely voice one’s views and the internet is a prime medium for this. But sadly, the internet is severely censored in China and people have no access to sensitive information from the outside world that is one of the pre-requisites for political awareness and organising of effective rebellions against the authoritarian ruling establishment.
China possesses the largest internet market in the world with nearly 400 million online. The Chinese, more than any other population in the world, have been subjected to a rigorous policy of censorship towards all media other than the state sponsored ones. The implications for political freedom in China with such a strict censoring is humongous as any news from the outside world that could influence the free minded political thinking of ordinary citizens is hampered. The censoring is carried out by the Chinese authorities in a really systematic fashion with restricted key words often circulated among those responsible for the censoring. In fact, no other country follows such a detailed and systematic censorship of its internet.
The need for this issue to be solved is further highlighted when one considers that China is exporting its brand of internet censorship to other nations like Iran and North Korea. If the malaise is not stemmed now, we might see it spreading to other nations as well with disastrous consequences for political freedom for millions in such countries.