Our rights our freedoms

Week 3

1. Complete the following table comparing the Australian and Chinese political systems:

  Australia China
Political parties          
Political opposition          
Freedom of speech          

2. Use the graphic organizer below to compare the similarities and differences between the Australian and Chinese political systems:

                                Australia                                           China

3. China and internet censorship

As the citizens of China have become wealthier, there has been an increased number of people who have access to computer technology and the internet. As a consequence, the Chinese government has created over 60 laws and regulations to control and censor the internet. The extensive programming that censors the internet is often referred to as ‘The Great Firewall of China’. China has the most extensive internet censorship in the world. The internet (particularly social media) has become a major forum in which the people of China have criticised the government. In reaction to this growing discontent and expression of anti-CCP commentary, over 2 million police officers have been placed in charge of monitoring internet use. The CCP blocks sites that have pornographic or gambling content; and additionally, sites that advocate for democracy, freedom of speech and report on police brutality are also blocked. At times, international news sites (such as the BBC) are blocked. Key phrases can also be blocked. For example, during the democratic uprising in the Middle East (2011–ongoing), the commonly used phrase to refer to the uprising – ‘The Arab Spring’ – was blocked.

In 2010, human rights activist Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel Prize for human rights. He was unable to receive his prize because he was imprisoned in China for writing poetry that criticised the CCP. During the time of his award, Chinese citizens were unable to search for his name or read information about his Nobel Prize.

a) Outline 5 key ideas or people that the Chinese government wants to censor.

b) Explain why the phrase ‘The Arab Spring’ would be blocked in China.

c) Compare the censorship of the internet in China with Australia. Is it likely that interent censorship would take place in Australia to the same extent? Explain your answer.

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