Canada’s back in China – online, at least!

Well, after at least a week of online haiatus, and repeated calls to the embassy and foreign affairs Canada and others, Canada’s national portal, http://canada.gc.ca is back online in China, available on all my various devices and in all sorts of locations.

At the height of this ridiculous blockage in China, I couldn’t access Canada’s website in Beijing: I tried on my own computer and my office computer, took my Ipod Touch and laptop to various locations around the city, and had the same result of other blocked sites.   I even tried to get there using the GPRS internet on my mobile phone.  No luck.  I had spoken to a journalist in Beijing, and for some reason he could go to canada.gc.ca, but others I asked to test for me couldn’t.  Really bizzare.

Anyway, I’m glad that the site is back, there is some information I need on there.  But the more disturbing question is: why was a national website allowed to be blocked in China?  If it’s a snub, I’d like to know why… if it was just carelessness on China’s part, well…I think Canada needs to reevaluate (again) it’s position in China.  If it was carelessness, Canada’s profile is clearly still not high enough to warrant being on a “White list” with China’s censors.

Canada has the ability to be a leader in so many ways with respect to global issues, if it has the desire.  But if our national website is blocked to 1/5 of the world’s population in China, it’s going to be very hard to do anything at all.

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