China atorada en la red

No hay nada "virtual" en los problemas a que se enfrentan los gobernantes comunistas chinos con respecto a la internet. Aunque es crítica para las metas de modernización y globalización de China, la internet amenaza el status quo político. Por ello no debe sorprender la respuesta frecuentemente esquizofrénica del gobierno: mientras que fomentan ampliamente el desarrollo de la internet, algunas facciones del partido buscan reprimirlo, arrestando a empresarios de la tecnología de la información y a disidentes que tienen páginas web. Sin embargo, los más de 35 millones de usuarios de internet (cifra que se duplica cada nueve meses) tienen acceso a una amplia variedad de información que antes estaba censurada, incluyendo sitios que están oficialmente prohibidos.

Ya se han dado cambios asombrosos. Cuando, hace poco más de un año, 42 niños y maestros de una escuela primaria en la provincia de Jiangxi (una de las más pobres en el centro-sur de China) murieron a causa de una explosión, los periódicos y páginas de internet del país informaron que ésta había sido provocada por un despreciable esquema de trabajo infantil: se había obligado a niños de nueve años a instalar detonadores en fuegos artificiales para que los maestros pudieran venderlos con el fin de suplementar sus salarios.

Dos días después, el premier Zhu Rongji negó los reportes. Sostuvo que la explosión había sido provocada por un "individuo desequilibrado". Como es típico en China, los medios estatales que publicaron la noticia original inmediatamente se retractaron para hacer eco de la línea del partido. Sin embargo, lo que no es típico de China es que la noticia se negó a morir.

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