India vs China: China censors Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official website using its Great Firewall of China after the border melee
It takes only one fight to spring the Chinese Great Firewall into action. The border skirmish on the night of 15th June and subsequent deaths of PLA combatants has prompted the CCP into banning the Chinese citizens from viewing Indian Prime Minister’s views about the ongoing conflict with China. The Great Firewall or the censoring authority of China has blocked the Indian PM’s official website, narendramodi.in.
What is the Chinese Great Firewall?
China goes into great trouble to block content and websites that it deems are harmful to its citizens. With that objective in mind, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2013 started the Great Firewall of China (GFW) called 防火长城; or Fánghuǒ Chángchéng under the aegis of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). CCP also enacted a combinations of legislative acts and penalties to enforce the censorship through the GFW.
The objective of GFW is to block access to selected foreign websites and to slow down cross-border internet traffic so that the Chinese public doesn’t get an opposing viewpoint on varied topics. The GFW already blocks Google Search, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, and many other such websites it deems is harmful to Chinese netizens. Even Weibo and other Chinese social media content and keywords considered unacceptable by the CCP are routinely blocked. Recently, all references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary are effectively blocked and removed by GFW.
Now the CCP has decided that the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s website is harmful to its citizenry and blocked complete access to narendramodi.in. PM Modi’s website joins this elite GFW list after the Chinese PLA reportedly suffered record fatalities in a decade during a border melee in the Galwan Valley.
This happened at a post called Patrol Point 14 which was supposed to be vacated by the PLA. The Indian Army unit led by Colonel Santosh Babu approached the Chinese unit to vacate the PP 14 but a melee broke out instead. Both IA and PLA scuffled with assorted weapons because a 1996 Agreement between the two nations prohibits guns and munitions during such meetings. According to the Indian Army, 43 PLA combatants were killed while the US Intelligence reports suggest that 35 PLA combatants were killed.
Coming back to the blocking of narendramodi.in. The Comparitech website and ChinaFirewallTest both show PM Modi’s official website is blocked in China. Unlike India and the western democracies where the companies and users can sue the authority for unblocking, In China, the CCP and GFW are the judge, jury, and executioners.
Even the VPN’s and alternative websites like TOR are blocked by GFW. Though a small proportion of Chinese population uses VPN’s they are under constant surveillance and any violation would mean life imprisonment according to the Chinese law. Hong Kong netizens can use VPNs and view websites blocked by GFW thanks to the One Nation Two Systems agreement signed between China and the United Kingdom in 1997 during the handover of Hong Kong to China.