DAVID WALL, The Japan Times, Jan. 10, 2005
Background info: David Wall is an associate fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House, London
LONDON -- A short while ago, when I was in Beijing, I wanted to keep up with some political development in Hong Kong. I turned on my computer and went to the Asia-Pacific page of the BBC's Web site. Or at least I tried to; I had forgotten that the BBC site is blocked in China.
As I was staying in a five-star hotel where it is possible to receive the BBC World station, I turned on the TV. Just as a Hong Kong news item appeared, the screen went blank. At first I tried adjusting the set, but then it came on again showing a different news item.
This is a nonsensical situation, of course, because all I had to do was tune in to other news sites on the TV (such as CNN), or other sites on the World Wide Web (such as Reuters), to find out what was going on. Foreigners in China can find out what is going on anywhere in the world through these channels and via the foreign newspapers available in hotels.