Introduction The year 2008 carried many Chinese hopes for a brighter future for China, and for more respect for China from other countries. Chinese netizens in particular expected China to open up more and to allow them unrestricted access to those parts of the World Wide Web that had only been accessible through Internet proxies from within China. Outside China, many expected an opening-up of China as well. Editorials in Western newspapers suggested that the Olympics would contribute to irreversible political change in China that would ultimately lead to free and multi-party elections.