The Information Office of the State Council of China issued a white paper on June 8, stating that Chinese citizens, in accordance with law, enjoy full freedom of expression on the Internet.
Gao Hongming, a rights activist, sought to define that freedom and the lack of it.
According to Gao, Chinese netizens may praise the Party, Chinese style socialism, and totalitarianism, critique artists, scientists, doctors, academia and athletes, and criticize general civil servants’ misconduct on corruption and the abuse of power. They may comment on major domestic and international events that the Party doesn’t care about and speak out about food, lodging, sickness, hatch/match/dispatch, and local community gossip, among other things.
Gao found that Chinese netizens don’t have the freedom to speak against the Party, Chinese style socialism, and totalitarianism, or comment negatively on Party leaders, or artists, writers and celebrities that support the Party. They can’t criticize institutional corruption and deficiencies or disagree when the media follows the Party line and government policies. Assembly and associating as well as demonstrating or protesting on the Internet are forbidden. These are just a few of the forbidden topics and situations.
Source: Boxun, June 16, 2010