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China Censorship Government

China Bans Letter N From Internet as Xi Jinping Extends Grip on Power (theguardian.com) 196

Speaking of things the Chinese government has been censoring in the country, The Guardian reports: It is the 14th letter in the English alphabet and, in Scrabble, the springboard for more than 600 8-letter words. But for the Communist party of China it is also a subversive and intolerable character that was this week banished from the internet as Chinese censors battled to silence criticism of Xi Jinping's bid to set himself up as ruler for life. The contravening consonant was perhaps the most unusual victim of a crackdown targeting words, phrases and even solitary letters censors feared might be used to attack Beijing's controversial decision to abolish constitutional term limits for China's president. The Communist party has painted the move -- which experts say paves the way for Xi to become a dictator for life -- as an expression of overwhelming popular support for China's strongman leader. However, there has been widespread online push-back in China since it was announced on Sunday on the eve of an annual political congress in Beijing.
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China Bans Letter N From Internet as Xi Jinping Extends Grip on Power

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  • by mnemotronic ( 586021 ) <mnemotronic AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @12:08PM (#56200457) Homepage Journal
    Well that makes sense.
    • by michelcolman ( 1208008 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @12:15PM (#56200531)

      o, it makes sese.

      Log live Xi Jipig!

      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @01:09PM (#56200987)

        They didn't ban the use of the letter "n" inside words. Only the use of "n" as a standalone character.

        It is not clear why it was banned, but sometimes characters and phrases will be used symbolically to get around censorship. For instance the number 64 is often censored because it is used to mean "June 4th" the date of the Tiananmen Square "incident". 54 is also sometimes censored because it is used as a symbol for corruption and betrayal, since the terms of the Versailles Treaty were published in Chinese newspapers on May 4th of 1919 [wikipedia.org]. The treaty was seen as a betrayal of China, and a sellout to the Japanese by the Western Allies, resulting in riots and unrest.

        One conjecture is that "n" was being used in the sense of "an arbitrary number" to mean the new term limit for the leader of China, replacing the old limit of two terms of five years each.

      • I'm sure Ella Minnow Pea was consulted. https://www.amazon.com/Ella-Mi... [amazon.com]

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      +1 Funny. Sorry, no mod points today, but this is utterly hilarious.

    • Well that makes sense.

      China is just copying from a Greek military junta, who banned the letter "Z" following assassination of democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis.

      At least they did in the movie:

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt00... [imdb.com]

      If other totalitarian countries start doing this as well . . . we won't have any alphabet left!

      It's time for a world leader to step up and make our alphabet great again!

    • Score: 5, Fuy

    • Dam, the GAA is goig to be pissed!
  • by Zorro ( 15797 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @12:09PM (#56200467)

    Did you mean "M" Comrade?

  • LMOP... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward


  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by YuppieScum ( 1096 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @12:15PM (#56200519) Journal
    Chia ow has it's ow iteret?
    • Where have you been? China's had its own internet for years now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      de facto, pretty much, yes they had their own internet.
      Foreign sites are very slow, if not impossible to access in a reliable manner. It doesn't help that pretty much every foreign website loads stuff from websites blocked by China's firewall - Google APIs, Social Media's like buttons, etc. In addition, regular users on e.g. China Telecom, are on a network that has very low bandwidth to outside China (this could be circumvented in the past by paying extra, e.g. for the China Telecom "VIP Package"). Finally,

  • E.g. look what they've done to wan4sui4. Simplified Chinese stripped down version on the left, Traditional Chinese version on the right

    https://translate.google.com/?... [google.com]

    • While many things are wrong with China, simplified Chinese characters are not one of them. I would much prefer to learn simplified writing than traditional. Anyone upset with simplified characters (Taiwan) is exhibiting the same protectionism given to cursive and (in France) the French language. However easier is always better - lets more of those poor pheasants learn writing and integrate with society. Korea had a similar epiphany centuries ago, much to their benefit.

      • by quenda ( 644621 )

        The simplified character set is lipstick on a pig.
        Both should be abolished in favour of pinyin, or some other phonetic alphabet.

        Thanks to computers, the archaic Chinese writing system is not quite the handicap it used to be, but it is still a significant drag on Chinese progress.
        How old are kids before they've rote-learned enough characters to read a newspaper?

  • Apparently in the Chinese calendar, April 1st falls on our February 28th.
    • Apparently you aren't aware of these things called timezones or the international date line.

      It is April 1st in China right now.

  • They obviously prefer to go deeply into Fascism instead. What an utterly deranged decision.

    • Why do you think Fascism and being a superpower are mutually exclusive? Nazi Germany, the canonical Fascist state, was pretty much a superpower and the USSR adopted a lot of Fascist ideas (militarism, strong central personality-based leadership, merging of corporation and state). During its rise, the British Empire also had a lot of these attributes (including concentration camps and a quasi-governmental East India Company).

      There's no rule that says that superpowers have to be nice...

    • What is with people these days? They have been a Communist dictatorship/kleptocracy since about 1949, with all the degradation, repression, starvation, purges, and death that entails. Only the gullible and like minded willing dupes ever imagined differently.

      And in any case, the USSR was an undeniable super-power for the better part of 50 years despite nearly universal despotism that always comes with leftism. As long at they have a land army of 1.6 million men and a substantial nuclear

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @12:28PM (#56200639)

    wheel of fortune needs to ax any trips to china

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      wheel of fortune needs to ax

      "Ax"? Have E's been restricted in your country? Run out of money for vowels?

  • by Errol backfiring ( 1280012 ) on Wednesday February 28, 2018 @12:36PM (#56200697) Journal
    I suspect there will be a long episode of Sesame Street in China when somebody will go looking for the letter "N".
  • Cogratulatios Xi Jipig for removig the letter ""! - I bet your coutry of Chia must be proud!
  • China bans letter "N". Crypto currency now huge hit as Chinese hipsters can't stop talking about the "Block Chai".
  • I do't uderstad how this is supposed to work. But will be fu to watch, I suppose...

    for ( ittr = vec.begi(); ittr != vec.ed(); ++ittr ) {
            if ( ittr != ullptr ) {

  • Chia?

    Do we have to water dear leader now? And dump shit on him to promote growth?

  • Do chinese citizens need some of the USA's extra guns to take care of this little problem yet?

  • That if we obey this Anglos will now call him Jipig which sounds close to "the pig?"

  • There is also |\|o way you ca|\| totally stop use of the letter "|\|". Forums have bee|\| trying to stamp out words a|\|d phrases si|\|ce before the I|\|ternet bega|\|, a|\|d have always bee|\| u|\|successful i|\| the e|\|d.

    How ca|\| anyo|\|e defe|\|d the Commu|\|ist Chi|\|ese gover|\|ment whe|\| they act the way they do?
  • Do you waut iuteruet to stop usiug a character, to preveut them from from sayiug "Zo!" ?

    Good luck with that! I expect that this will be takeu as a challeuge!

    Claude Shauuou once showed that Euglish only coutaius about 1.2 bits of iuformatiou per character. Thus one cau remove a lot more characters and still make seuse out of it!

    Joking aside, I'm a bit sad that what the tools that once was seen as the tools for liberating and informing people, have turned into tools for disinformation and oppression.

  • Google is suppressing gun-identifies shopping results, at least in the US, even for legal products. What could be wrong with this?

  • By my understanding, they only removed the limit on the number of consecutive terms allowed, they did not remove any limit on the duration of any single term. Individual terms are still 5 years long, afaik, and he could still be voted out after any one of them.

    Lots of countries don't have limits on the number of terms that a person can be elected, and there's not any significant problems there. This is mitigated either by upper fixed bounds on the length of any single term (or fixed term lengths) that

  • which experts say paves the way for Xi to become a dictator for life

    China has been a communist dictatorship for longer than most of us have been alive.

    For Western sources to cover this little internal squabble as though it has much significance is disturbing, at least in the clueless way it is being covered. China is still a brutal communist dictatorship, whether they periodically rotate people into and out of various positions or not.

  • Monty Python FTW.
  • The Communist party has painted the move - which experts say paves the way for Xi to become a dictator for life - as an expression of overwhelming popular support for China’s strongman leader.

    If he really had ''overwhelming popular support'' then he would have little problem with some on-line criticisms. That he feels it necessary to stamp out any dissent suggests either: that his grip on power is not as it appears, or: that he is a snowflake that cannot stand any criticism.

    What he does not understand

  • ... over to China: That looks like it might not have been such a good idea now does it?

    Think you'll have much bargaining power with some petty tyrant that wants to be dictator-for-life and whose first move is to ban letters of the alphabet?

    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
      China has over 1 billion people. In order to gain access to that market, they had to establish a presence.

      Plus, capitalism calls for maximizing profits dammed of the consequences. Who cares that the technology and IP was stolen at the same time, cheap labor and almost no environmental laws!
      • by rnturn ( 11092 )

        If I were a US corporation that just moved all my manufacturing over to China, I might be be a little worried that the new emperor, er, dictator might just say "Ours now". As you said, they have a billion customers. Would they need non-Chinese customers? Really?

        I need to follow up on it but there are some stories going around about how fragile the Chinese economy really is and how close it might be to collapse. We may be close to living in those "interesting" times.

    • by rnturn ( 11092 )

      OK... second move.

  • _/t

  • Conveniently removing "temporarily" from the headline for dramatic effect.
  • Great news, everybody! Letter N is out of rehab. [youtube.com]

New systems generate new problems.