As strange as it seems, the Chinese government has commissioned a rousing, Communist-style anthem about its severely censored Internet.
China, where a Great Firewall filters out basic sites like Gmail and Twitter for its nearly 1.4 billion citizens, has declared its sanitized online connection “like a beam of incorruptible sunlight, touching our hearts,” in what the New York Timessays“can only be described as a semiofficial anthem.”
The song, magnanimously titled Cyberspace Spirit, was created for the year’s Lunar New Year Internet Media Celebration and performed on Tuesday. It seems to have slipped past the West’s attention until it was written about in China’s Youth Daily.
While the lyrics are largely filled with lofty, vague references that don’t seem to have much to do with any aspect of the Internet—much less censorship in particular—the chorus at least hints at being online. Translated by the Times, it goes:
An Internet power: Where the Internet is, so is the glorious dream.
An Internet power: From the distant cosmos to the missing home.
An Internet power: Tell the world that the Chinese Dream is uplifting China.
An Internet power: I represent my nation to the world.
There you have it. Forcing people to use VPNs to tweet—such is the glorious dream.
Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III