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The Internet and the Future of Democracy in China.

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Introduction

September 10, 2003 Dr. Smith The Internet and the Future of Democracy in China We live in a world where information, in a metaphorical sense, can travel as fast as the speed at which human minds can contemplate a thought. The Internet, a symbol of our information era, has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. This new "institution" (if it can be called so) is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, an instrument for information diffusion, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location. This freedom that the internet allows us can be put in question when it is introduced in countries such as China, where totalitarian regimes are in place. ...read more.

Middle

Ironically, the Internet, which is seen as a harbinger of democracy, in China has caused various problems. There have been instances where arrests have been placed because of citizens finding ways to break into that strict censorship. One may argue that this isn't an ideal example of democracy. However this is the cost which democracy requires in order to release its roots into the minds of Chinese people. With the possibility of reading news from the outside world, being up to date with the political life of other countries, the opportunities will develop for the people to express their opinions in public forums and this could well result in building a global network of support for challenging political change in China and could present a test to the Chinese Government. ...read more.

Conclusion

Looking at the case of the Falun Gong movement, the Internet has actually strengthened the hands of the Government in restraining social mobilization in China. These are the effects of the moment, but looking ahead the Internet can become a revolution in its true meaning, and cause the adaptation of a contemporary, democratic government in China. No matter what, the Internet will continue to grow, and it will continue to bring economic and social benefits to the Chinese people. The Internet truly holds infinite possibilities for the future. It is truly a medium that encourages free expression and individuality, while simultaneously being a storehouse for a phenomenal amount of information. Though, in the short run the Internet might strengthen the party-state of China, it can, over time, aid the process of political transformation which will come from fundamental institutional changes from within China. ...read more.

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