Happy birthday to The People’s Republic, which turns 60 tomorrow. In Beijing, there is will be a huge parade of military equipment and we have been reading in the newspaper here about practice flyovers. One Chinese friend said that she’d heard bragging, on Chinese TV, that Chinese missiles could reach all the way to the east coast of the US. I do hope that they aren’t in the parade.
Here in Shanghai, there will be lots of fireworks, official ones in seven districts and unofficial ones everywhere. But this year, the watchword seems to be “security.” Extensive road closures begin this afternoon and will continue every afternoon for several days. The Public Security Bureau is warning people not to even walk down to the Bund.
More ominous are the closures on the other highway, the internet. I suspect/hope these are also related to the holiday. Since the recent troubles in Xinjiang, the networking sites have been largely blocked: Facebook, youTube, Twitter, blogspot and other blog sites — all inaccessible from this side of the Great Firewall of China. Until lately, my friends and I always traded information about proxy servers and anonymizer sites that would allow us to get around the Wall, albeit at a snail’s pace. It was a bit of a cat-and-mouse game to find the new one that worked, after the latest one was blocked. But right now, they’re all blocked, too… sneakme won’t load, hotspotshield yields a yellow light. Nobody I know can get access. For what it’s worth, the knitting patterns I linked to on the Shanghai Guild website just a couple of weeks ago are swept up in the net of blocked sites. So much for Drumroll, Please. (Wang ayi asked, “Are the patterns on an American site or a Chinese site?” “American,” I answered, causing us both to shake our heads in wonder at the potential harm that we could cause by knitting bobbles or other interesting shapes into our knitting.) I just learned that Feedburner is usually blocked here, too. So much for Tech Success 2.
Let’s hope that things ease up after the holiday. My husband and I are heading out of the country in the morning. That is, if we can drive to the airport from my house.