Jiaodian Fangtan (Focal Point) has
become one of China's most popular television programs.
The ten-minute show airs every day after the evening
news to an audience of 300 million people. The program
focuses on exposing corruption, abuses of money and
power, sales of fake products and other illegal activities.
Premier Zhu Rongji is said to be its most loyal viewer.
Late last year, he visited the program producers. "People
all over China like it, but it is not popular with everyone
- for a few people it causes a big headache. I am included
among the people that you must supervise," the premier
Focal Point's main target is corrupt
local officials. One of its programs reported illegal
toll booths set up by local police officers on national
highways. Another drew attention to the case of 500
primary school students who had become ill after eating
poisoned food. The program is so popular that it receives
about 200 letters and telephone calls a day from viewers.
Petitioners also line up at the entrance
of China's Central Television station to ask the program
to broadcast their grievances. But critics say in spite
of its successes, the program can only go after "flies"
and not "tigers" or corrupt high level officials. Corruption
in top government offices is handled by the Communist
Party internally, and the investigations are kept out
of the public eye.
An extreme right-wing Chinese group
has declared cyberwar on Japanese websites in a bid
to force "Japan's mad dogs" to face up to wartime atrocities
committed in China.
The self-styled Chinese extreme right-wing
Anti-Japanese Alliance, in a message on their website
www.bsptt.gx.cn/public/badboy/hack, claims to have attacked
at least 30 Japanese sites between January 24 and February
Launching a new "Anti-Japanese war,"
the organization says it targeted a series of websites
belonging to ministries, the prime minister, parliament
and the state planning agency.
It also claimed cyber raids on websites
belonging to the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, the NHK
television station, the central post office in Okinawa,
a home for the elderly in Kyoto and the electronics
group JVC. Japanese officials said last month a host
of government websites had been plastered with anti-Japanese
The hacker website is a sub-domain
of a government telecom website in the southern province
of Guangxi, and officials say police have no intention
of clamping down on the site because it is "patriotic."
The website says the movement was
founded by "Information technology enthusiasts imbued
with a strong sense of patriotism." It calls on hackers
to download "Internet Atomic Bomb China Boy" denial
of service software, similar to the software used in
attacks on US search engine Yahoo! and website CNN.com,
and launch anti-Japanese hacking attacks.
"We welcome more anti-Japanese sites
to join the attack and explode an atom bomb on the Japanese
Internet," says the group. "The main principle of the
alliance is to make continued cyberspace attacks on
a small number of Japanese mad dogs.
"The main attack goals will be the
websites of the little Japanese government and companies."
The claim of responsibility came
after Japanese officials last month said hackers broke
into a government Internet site and left a message blasting
Tokyo's failure to take responsibility for its wartime
Messages in several languages were
discovered at the site of the Management and Coordination
Agency, which gathers official economic data. In broken
English, one message read: "Japanese, as all people
know, is a folk which has no courage face to the truth
of history. It's the disgrace of Asia."
Several days later the hackers launched
new attacks, mocking government security controls. The
attacks followed a nationalist conference in the western
city of Osaka which denied the 1937 Nanjing Massacre
by Japanese troops in China ever took place.
The conference infuriated the Chinese
government, which repeatedly admonished Tokyo for allowing
the forum to take place and warned Sino-Japanese ties
would be severely damaged if Japan did not face up to
its wartime past.
An official at the Ministry of Information
Industry, which polices the Internet in China, say the
authorities had no role in the attacks.
"It is not our problem. We are only
in charge of the security of the Internet in China,"
says the official, promising to investigate the affair.
The hacking website is a sub-domain
of the official telecommunications bureau in the town
of Baise in Guangxi. Chen Zhengchao, an official at
the Baise Telecommunications Bureau, says local authorities
will take no action against the site.
"The police in charge of the security
of the Internet know all about this. The content of
the site is patriotic and as long as it does not publish
pornography or reactionary material, we have no reason
The People's Liberation Army is calling
for restrictions to be placed on the import of computer
network security products into China. It is also claiming
that, to safeguard the national economic interest, it
should be given the responsibility of ensuring the security
of the country's information systems.
A commentary published in the People's
Liberation Army Daily newspaper - the official mouthpiece
of China's military - warns against foreign domination.
Without singling out any nation in
particular, the article states that "some countries"
with highly developed information technology industries
are "taking advantage of their monopolistic position"
to "control information technologies, infiltrate information
resources" and dump IT products in underdeveloped countries.
The goal of these "monopolistic"
nations, the article says, is "to attain political,
economic and military objectives." The author termed
this "information colonialism."
Through the export of "technological
capital" (IT products), the "information powers" dominate
information in underdeveloped nations and thereby threaten
their economic security, the commentary states.
To prevent such domination of China,
"The army should take as its new function safeguarding
the security of information systems."
The article goes on to say that "Information
colonialism will be a major cause of future wars." To
prevent this, China should build independent information
It should also strengthen its own
IT sector. To achieve both these goals, and at the same
time protect national security, China should avoid "as
best as possible" the import of network security products
such as "firewalls, routers and encryption software,"
that article says.
China's State Council recently announced
it will provide government funding to support five state-owned
media websites in China, the Overseas Chinese News reports.
The announcement came a day after
China's State Council Information Office (SCIO) said
it was in the midst of drafting regulations requiring
state media organizations to separate themselves financially
from affiliated websites. The same regulations will
probably allow foreign funding of these websites as
well, according to the report.
The State Council made the funding
pledge at the Web News Regulations Working Conference.
The websites of the following organizations will get
-Xinhua News Agency (www.xinhua.org)
-China Daily (www.chinadaily.com.cn)
-People's Daily (www.peopledaily.com.cn)
-State Council News Office (www.china.org.cn)
-China International Broadcast Station (www.cnradio.com)
This funding announcement was made
by a spokesperson from the Department of Internet at
the State Council's News Office.
According to the newspaper, the spokesperson
denies rumors that the central government will come
up with RMB1 billion (US$121 million) to support these
news media websites.
He says that the government indeed
has plans to support the building of these sites, but
it has not made a final decision on the specific amount
of funding, the timing of implementation or how the
funds will be invested.
"These are important questions for
the development of the nation's Internet industry, "
the article says.