13/02/2008 Was it the snow that caused the chaos?
Last week Xiao Qiang landed in Amsterdam for a very short visit (two days), he wanted to be be back at Berkeley in time to give his lecture. Qiang is well known in the international internet scene as director of the China Internet Project and an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Journalism of University of California at Berkeley. He also is the founder and publisher of China Digital Times, an independent China news portal.
His story about the way the Chinese authorities handle the traffic chaos, which occurred after the heavy snow the first week of February, is a clear example of the way Chinese censorship works. Millions of Chinese wanted to travel from the cities to their home towns to celebrate Chinese New year with their loved ones. According to Qiang the real debate about the chaos and what caused it are to be found on the internet, especially in the blogosphere. This side of the calamity remains invisibly on the official canals. Leave stand that a critical question is asked to the causes of this chaos. Because how it is possible that the snow fall has so much impact? And why does the government permits all those millions migrant workers to travel only once a year – all at the same time – for thousands of kilometres? Those discussions are not shown on television or published in the mainstream media, you have to be on line and read the blogs. Radio Netherlands Wordwide interviewed (Dutch) Qiang.