Everyone on the China beat already knows this, but for bystanders curious about how China's internet-filtering system adjusts to breaking news, see this report from China Digital Times. It's an intercepted (and, to me, legitimate-sounding) new memo from state propaganda authorities about the items that search-engine companies must block from their results. The memo is of course in Chinese, with CDT's translation. Brief samples:
Please screen out the following keywords, no relevant search results. Effective starting 7 pm today [July 8, 2009]....."冲突 汉维""维冲突 汉族" "维族冲突 汉族" "维族冲突 汉人" "维族冲突 汉族人" "维族冲突汉族同胞""维狗冲突 汉族" "维族狗冲突 汉族" "维族狗冲突 汉人" "维族狗冲突 汉族人" "维狗冲突 汉族同胞" "维族狗冲突汉族同胞" "新疆人冲突 汉族" "新疆人冲突 汉人" "新疆人冲突 汉族人" "新疆人冲突 汉族同胞""新疆狗冲突 汉族" "维族狗冲突汉人" "新疆狗冲突 汉族人" "新疆狗冲突 汉族同胞"
"conflict, Han and Uighur" "Conflict, Han and Uighur people" "Conflict, Han and Xinjiang people"
"Conflict, Xinjiang dogs and Han compatriots" "Conflict, Xinjiang people and Han compatriots"
For background on the Great Firewall, try here. In some other update, it will be worth talking about the Chinese government's press strategy during this emergency, which so far is strikingly different from past practice. During the Tibet turmoil early last year, the government tried its best to keep foreign reporters and outsiders in general away from the action. This time, it is conducting press tours of Xinjiang for foreigners. Rapid-adaptation to changing circumstances has been a hallmark of Chinese economic policy but not so much of its international diplomatic stance. We'll see how big a change this is.
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