BBS forums used to be the venue of choice to make oneself seen and heard in the Chinese blogsphere, until blogs came along and most of the biggest and best BBS names took their reputations and readers and set up their own spaces. While BBSes, some in blog+BBS hybrid form, are still running strong, though not as wild as in their heyday, they still do offer a quantity that blogs do not. Anonymity with a guaranteed profile probably remains the biggest draw, and many stories are broken there that can't be seen in mainstream Chinese media.
But it's not all for free. Of the thousands of posts coming into the bigger sites—most self-censoring just enough to keep themselves open but not so much as to bore readers—each day, undoubtedly many posts disappear with no-one the wiser. At KDNet, however, one of the biggest of the big, one strategy which seems to be working for them is to keep the offending post, but keep it on lockdown, available to read but closed to comments. Not blocked yet in some way not safe, what do these kinds of posts imply? A sensitive topic edge of mentionability? Fittingly, KDNet's locked links appear grey instead of the usual black. Here are those found posted Wednesday night, Beijing time:
Don't force yourself to take Mao Zedong for granted, posts Qin Xiaoying, stating first that most people are familiar with Mao Zedong's October 1, 1949 proclamation from the steps of Tiananmen square that ‘the people of China hereby rise up!’, then denouncing it as a myth.
毛泽东在那个时刻、那个地点真说过这句话吗？提出这个问题，也许有人会认为是多余。因为每逢国庆或一些重要场合，无论是媒体，还是文艺作品都会提到这句话。 然而，历史的真相是，在开国大典毛泽东宣读的那份关于中华人民共和国中央人民政府成立的公告中，完全没有那句话！而从文献档案资料上我们却可以看到：在1949年9月21 日举行的中国人民政治协商会议第一届全体会议开幕式上，毛泽东所致的开幕词中确有类似的表述。他的原话是这样的：”我们的工作将写在人类的历史上，它将表明：占人类总数四分之一的中国人从此站立起来了……我们的民族将再也不是一个被人侮辱的民族了，我们已经站起来了。”
Interesting, but is it true? Does the Communist Party of China really spin its own history? No qualification as comments have been blocked, but the decision to let it stand gives a certain amount of authority. Others blocked tonight: reposting of Kuomingtang chairman and Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou‘s saying the future of cross-straits relations must be accepted by the people of Taiwan, more Mao in ‘The all-knowing, all-powerful Mao Zedong and all-ignorant, all-unselfish Washington‘, comparing the former leaders of the two world superpowers and even more comparing Mao with fellow mass-murderers Hitler and Stalin and some speculation on what China would have been like if Mao had never been:
So, say Mao Zedong never existed, how would history have played out?
The way I see it, first off the Communist Party of China would never have had the chance to take power. In fact, if the Communist Party had made just the slightest mistake during Mao Zedong's time, it would never have been victorious throughout the country…
A Communist-free China? The Democratic Party of China? In your BBSes, maybe, along with all of China's other political parties. Just how many are there? asks and answers ttttrr:
Nothing like a juicy diplomatic gaffe to get your post greylisted. Leading up to Chinese Chairman Hu Jintao‘s visit to India this coming Monday, a post about Chinese ambassador to India Sun Yuxi who in a recent interview with CNN said that the entire border province of Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory—a stance the poster says is in step with the Party line—giving rise to a huge controversy which has resulted in the Indian government asking for the diplomat to be immediately recalled.
Just back from India is winner of this year's Deutsche Welle Best of Blogs Bratwurst award, Zeng Jinyan—the bravest woman in China?—who this summer skipped grey and went straight to blocked, within China at least, on her MSN Spaces blog, hence the lack of comments on her latest post detailing her reception this past week at Beijing International airport:
Where are you from? Fujian;
Where are you coming from? India, with a transfer in Thailand;
What were you doing? Travelling (on a travel visa);
Why were you travelling for so long? I went to Thailand first to study, then to India for travel;
Did you go along or with others? There were a bunch of us;
Where are they? Over there (I pointed them out);
Then he called another officer over: “check to see if her visa is fake.”
The check took less than twenty minutes, then they let me go.
I heard that police who are tailing and keeping others under arrest began to retreat yesterday. Could it be a signal? [My husband] Hu Jia is still under house arrest, 121 days, I sure do wish he could walk free.
Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily editor, MSN Spaces blogger and recent Jefferson Fellowship for Journalists fellow Deng Zhixin, freshly back from his tour around the Pacific, just happened to be in Thailand and India at the same time as Zeng, here's a bit of what he had to say about the latter country: