Rock My World

I woke up this morning and my Internet was acting all funny. Chinese sites would load quick as could be, but anything outside of the PRC was as slow as Mao’s second coming.

Immediately my mind turned to the worst and I figured that they’d finally done it, they’d finally blocked all content that wasn’t being produced in China (read: everything of value). Resigning myself to my new Sinocentric media life, I decided to give the China Daily a read, something I usually avoid with strong measure.

I was interested to learn that Saddam will be getting a new, rather tight, tie for Christmas and that Taiwan suffered an earthquake. Hmm… natural disaster in (near) China… wait… goofy Internet… hold on… could it be… yes! I need more coffee! After a quick cup I asked Maggie to call China Telecom, where a sweet girl told her that the quake in Taiwan knocked out China’s on-ramp to the freeworld.

Apparently, and this is from the not-too-creditable “customer service” representative at CT, all of China’s access to the Internet at large runs through Taiwan… man was that some shitty planning – and a helluva chip the ROC can play should things get nasty between the two siblings.

PRC: “Um, we’d really like you to come back and be a part of your motherland.”
ROC: “But we believe in a multi-party system and don’t like to spit.”
PRC: “Fine, have it your way. We’re going to attack you tomorrow.”
ROC: “If you do, you’ll only be able to access Mainland-produced porn.”
PRC: “Please disregard, have a nice day.”

It seems that the quake was minor in relation to the damage that came about two years ago also in South East Asia, but man… that’s some timing. Mother Nature telling us she’s still watching less we forget to put our asses in gear and start sorting out our enviro problems.

As it was minor it’s unlikely that the numerous Taiwanese I work for and teach have relations that were affected, but I’m sure it will fill my classes for the next couple days with some interesting speculation and good conversations (well, ok, not in the little kid classes – though we have covered ‘typhoon’ in our vocabulary, tsunami and earthquake haven’t been addressed yet). Anyway, I’ve a minor amount of access at the moment and thought I’d see if I could post this. Here’s to hoping…

7 Responses

  1. Pingback: China Law Blog

  2. The impact of the Taiwan cable problem in China has been WEIRD. For one thing, the disruption didn’t really seem to kick in until several hours after the earthquakes! And people have been reporting different problems of access in different parts of China – and even in different parts of Beijing – covering a whole spectrum from “Things are more or less normal” to “Nothing works at all!”

    I was closer to the second than the first, Wednesday through Friday this week. Today, touch wood, things seem to be normal again. Very slow, and a little cranky – but that’s ‘normal’ round here.

    I think the crux of the problem is connection speed. I’ve heard estimates that China has lost between 45% and 75%(!!) of its external connection to the Internet – so the routing that remains has been hugely overloaded. And things get pretty damned overloaded at peak times, anyway. I’m told that this explains why Blogger usually holds up while Blogspot often appears to be ‘blocked’ (in fact, just timed out through excess demand).

    If you’re still having problems there in Suzhou, I have found http://www.anonymouse.org and http://www.proxyline.us seem to be making most sites available…. though VERY slow at times. Or you could just try getting up at 4am – everything works just fine then!

    Good luck, and Happy New Year!

  3. Hiya, it’s interesting. I live something like 50 km away from the site where one can see how the actual cable submerges into the Starit of Taiwan-Philipine Sea. It always catches my sight when I go further south for a short break. Well, it seems that the tremor would have been a Taiwanese subotage replying to the Chinese 800+ missiles. No bl–dy porns for the New Year. What?
    Happy new year.

  4. I couldn’t get a word of your blog last week. I caught a piece of what you wrote here off Granite Studio, but Humanaught was coming up blank in Dalian.

    Funny thing, here in Seoul, it’s like the earthquake never happened. And there’s no firewall. Actually, it’s rather nice here.

  5. This is the best post about the incident I have read. I read about the earthquake, and some disruption to internet service in China, but I don’t think it registered what that meant.

    Oh.

    That is toooo funny.

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