Jon Huntsman, U.S. Ambassador, Blocked By China's Web Police

BEIJING — China widened its Internet policing after online calls for protests like those that swept the Middle East, with social networking site LinkedIn and searches for the U.S. ambassador's name both blocked on Friday.
Searches for Ambassador Jon Huntsman's name in Chinese on popular microblogging site Sina Weibo were met with a message saying results were not available due to unspecified "laws, regulations and policies."
A video circulating online shows Huntsman, who has been mentioned as a potential Republican presidential candidate, scanning the crowd at the site of a tiny protest in Beijing last weekend. An unidentified Chinese man asked Huntsman what he was doing there and whether he wanted to see chaos in China. Huntsman walked away from the scene after that comment.
The U.S. Embassy was aware that Huntsman's name was being "restricted on some searches" on China's domestic Internet, spokesman Richard Buangan said, but declined further comment on the issue.
He said the ambassador and some family members were passing through the bustling Wangfujing shopping street on Sunday and it was a coincidence that they were there at the same time as the planned protest.
Notices that began circulating last week on an overseas website and called for protests in cities across China every Sunday have so far attracted few overt demonstrators but nevertheless unnerved the authoritarian government.
In addition to increased filtering of the Internet, police have also questioned, placed under house arrest and otherwise detained more than a hundred people, the monitoring group China Human Rights Defenders said. At least five have been detained on subversion or national security charges, in some cases for passing on information about the protest calls.
The Beijing police department on Friday, in an unusual move, summoned The Associated Press and several other foreign news organizations for brief meetings to restate regulations requiring foreign reporters to receive permission from government agencies, companies and individuals for interviews.
LinkedIn does not have a strong following among Chinese users, who make up one million of its 90 million-plus members, but the site had previously been accessible. On Friday, it could not be opened within China.
The Mountain View, California-based company said in a statement that the site was blocked for some people and they were continuing to monitor the situation, which was apparently "part of a broader effort in China going on right now."
The appearance of the U.S. ambassador at Sunday's protest feeds into a frequent theme in state-controlled media: that the U.S. is trying to subvert China. One website that focuses on criticizing Western media coverage, anti-cnn.com, said Huntsman's presence at the protest site "obviously reflected" a "coordinated campaign to disrupt China."
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday sidestepped questions asking whether Beijing believed Huntsman was there by coincidence. Spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said he was not aware of specifics of the case.

osofar   1 minute ago (4:28 AM)
Huntsman would be viewed with deep suspicion by Republican¬s, as he speaks fluent Mandarin, is Mormon, and was appointed by Obama.

simonbugatti   5 hours ago (11:31 PM)
Wangfujing is a popular modern shopping neighborho¬od in Beijing, so having Huntsman and family turn up there merely by coincidenc¬e could be the truth.
Whatever it is, it fits in nicely with a run for president.

Hopalongpoppyseed   7 hours ago (9:02 PM)
What is this, guilt by walking around?

mike72   4 hours ago (12:10 AM)
If the Chinese embassador just happens to being walking in the middle of the Wisconsin protest, I bet you will think differentl¬y.
But no matter. It is really fun watching Huntsman showing up ... this is by far the FIRST TIME EVER a US official showing up in anything related to Jasmine Revolution¬.
Wall Stree Journal has already hinted that what is happening in Middle East is the handy work of US. Now with Huntsman showing, the shadow is coming out.

Hopalongpoppyseed   4 hours ago (12:43 AM)
Mike, The Chinese ambassador to the U.S. is probably stationed in Washington D.C., which is 705 miles from Madison Wisconsin, and it would indeed be a surprise to see the Chinese ambassador in Madison, but I suppose it would be a chance for the Chinese ambassador to witness an important conflict in a country with a history of greater freedoms for workers than he would have at home in China. If I saw the Chinese ambassador in Madison, I would think nothing of it, except that he must be traveling. On the other hand Ambassador Huntsman witnessed an event taking place in the city where he serves as ambassador¬. I see nothing remarkable about that. Perhaps, everything that happens around the world is not an American conspiracy¬. It would be stupid American policy to damage relations with the Chinese, from whom we borrow so much money. I don't think Mr. Huntsman would remain stationed in China if he damaged American relations in China. I am sure the Administra¬tion would call him back, in that case. 

 I am quite sure he just went out for a Big Mac.

mike72   4 hours ago (12:22 AM)
"Torch All and Reshuffle" ... sigh ... only US has this kind of ambition, capability¬, imaginatio¬n and confidence¬. US is playing at a completely different level of the Great Game.

We could make China suffer economical¬ly if we would go back to Alexander'¬s Hamilton's 11 points to building s strong manufactur¬ing/middle base! China is our biggest threat and makes the cold war which we won seem luke warm!

If the Chinese ambassador to the US shows up at the protest in Madison tomorrow it would be a scandal and an insult to America. He'd be excoriated by the press. But Huntsman's behavior doesn't get a comment from Clinton or the WH. Why? Because election season has begun. That's all today's ruling class is good for, election campaignin¬g, spinning, lying.

Because we have double standards.

Maybe his bosses don't feel he has done anything wrong. So far, I don't.

They can't Baidu his name?
Well no big deal. They can't vote for him anyway.

Can't take these Republican¬s anywhere ...  not only do they have a recent history of failure at the ask of Diplomacy -- they embarrass us. 
I suspect this was a story planted by Huntsman to begin to distance him from the Chinese government he was proud to be close to before he decided to run for president.

was a story planted by Huntsman..¬.."


No comments: