The Chinese government loves censorship. They always have, and they always will. The foundation of their government largely depends on their ability to control what information can enter or exit the country. If freedom of information were a supported system, the already restless population would be able to gain enough control to rival the harsh and overreaching rule of their government. The open internet has always been a rival of China’s political system.
As proof that the government will stop at nothing to maintain every ounce of control, China has been controlling information about the coronavirus, a deadly virus impacting large sects of the Chinese population. Without the circulation of correct and helpful information, the population will not know how to adequately protect themselves and prevent the spread of the illness.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus is not one specific virus. It is an umbrella term that encompasses many viruses such as the common cold and a wide variety of respiratory illnesses. This particular coronavirus is new and unnamed, and doctors have not yet had an opportunity to pinpoint the most effective course of treatment for this emerging illness.
China’s coronavirus epidemic has been blamed on a wide variety of potential causes. Among those potential causes are bat soup, as well as other black market back alley delicacies made from animals (like snakes) deemed unsafe for human consumption.
The virus aggressively attacks the respiratory system, and since it’s still being studied, there is no surefire course of action to effectively treat the virus in most patients. This gives the virus deadly potential, allowing it to rapidly spread and claim lives.
China Controls the Narrative
The Chinese government works overtime to control and contain the narrative of nearly everything. The premise is the same, no matter the situation: nothing is ever really that bad and everything is completely under control. Seldom is this actually the case.
The outbreak of a devastating and deadly new virus within the country doesn’t paint the government in a perfect light. It showcases issues with the spread of information and China’s practices as they pertain to keeping the country and its people sanitary and healthy. Since this information showcases a glaring flaw, the Chinese government is apt to suppress it.
Journalists were quick to report that the government dropped the ball in a big way. Despite fears of suppression or penalty, many professional and armchair reporters made a concerted effort to spread the message to the Chinese people (as well as the population of the world) that the coronavirus was rapidly spreading.
China has practices in place to censor journalists, sometimes jailing them for reporting unfavorable information. Doctors and other healthcare professionals who fully grasp the severity of the situation have made journalists of themselves, even some doctors who have been infected in their efforts to treat patients.
Global Laws as They Conflict With Chinese Laws
China has strict laws regarding journalists entering and exiting the country, micromanaging the information they have access to and what they’re allowed or forbidden to report on. China’s propaganda department claims that they are working to spread information about treatment and prevention of the disease. The strategy of the propaganda department is only to spread good news – not to showcase the devastating reality of an epidemic that has grown out of control.
Since China will not allow news stories that are openly critical of the government to be broadcast anywhere in the nation, the people aren’t getting the full story. With such a gross, widespread misinformation campaign at play, many citizens of China are still largely unaware of the reality they face.
The Unintended Consequence
A misinformed population cannot adequately protect themselves against the deadly impact of the coronavirus if they are unaware of the proper preventative measures, the widespread nature of the virus, and how to recognize signs and symptoms that they’re infected with something far more grisly than the common cold. The restriction of this information will undoubtedly lead to more infections, or even deaths, as a result of the spread of the coronavirus.
This control measure can, and will, cost lives. The Chinese government has made a move that demonstrates that they value absolute control more than they value the lives of their citizens, leaving citizens with no choice but to circumvent the government for their own survival.
Accessing True Information from Inside of China
The only way to bypass the Chinese government’s censorship is by utilizing a VPN. People need VPNs now more than ever. The ability to bypass government website blocks and read legitimate news from global agencies can arm them with the information they need to protect themselves as the virus continues to spread.
TorGuard VPN is working perfectly in China. With our stealth mode, Chinese internet users can mask their VPN use, allowing them to research the virus without tipping off the government that they’re browsing via a VPN connection. It is a terrifying set of circumstances where hiding your internet activity from the government may be crucial for your health and survival, but the people of China need to make great use of countermeasures they can use to empower themselves.