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Monday, April 16, 2012

Freedom will win out in Beijing | Ai Weiwei, Sydney Morning Herald

When my wife and I traveled in China a couple of years ago, I wondered about the ideas expressed so boldly in this column by dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Weiwei describes in his column how the Chinese people are learning to exercise their rights online. He concludes:
China may seem quite successful in its controls but it has only raised the water level. It's like building a dam: it thinks there is more water so it will build it higher. But every drop of water is still in there. It doesn't understand how to let the pressure out. It builds up a way to maintain control and push the problem to the next generation.
It still hasn't come to the moment it will collapse. That makes a lot of other states admire its technology and methods. But in the long run, its leaders must understand it's not possible for them to control the internet unless they shut it off - and they can't live with the consequences of that. The internet is uncontrollable. And if the internet is uncontrollable, freedom will win. It's as simple as that.
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