It’s 3 a.m. in China — and news of Mubarak stepping down is all over Twitter

While I nod to my colleague Colum Lynch’s sage article on the dangers of using Twitter as a reporting tool, it’s notable to see a great deal of activity on the Chinese Twittersphere — even at 3 a.m. — forwarding news of Mubarak stepping down. You can follow yourself here. A few sample tweets, roughly ...

While I nod to my colleague Colum Lynch's sage article on the dangers of using Twitter as a reporting tool, it's notable to see a great deal of activity on the Chinese Twittersphere -- even at 3 a.m. -- forwarding news of Mubarak stepping down. You can follow yourself here.

A few sample tweets, roughly translated:

"I am very optimistic about the future of Egypt. There are new national heros and they have acheived such an important victory, no matter what the future difficulties."

While I nod to my colleague Colum Lynch’s sage article on the dangers of using Twitter as a reporting tool, it’s notable to see a great deal of activity on the Chinese Twittersphere — even at 3 a.m. — forwarding news of Mubarak stepping down. You can follow yourself here.

A few sample tweets, roughly translated:

"I am very optimistic about the future of Egypt. There are new national heros and they have acheived such an important victory, no matter what the future difficulties."

"In China, the next change will not produce another Tiananmen Square. People are learning. A lot of people are surprised at the sophistication of the Egyptian opposition groups’ strategy, and also at the Egyptian military’s power of restraint."

"An Egyptian blogger wrote: ‘This is no leader of the Revolution’ and ‘three million individuals have chosen hope over fear.’"

UPDATE: China’s Foreign Ministry hasn’t yet released a statement in the wee hours, but I expect official reaction will be similar to what Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a press briefing yesterday in Beijing: "China holds that Egypt’s affairs should be decided independently by the country without foreign interference … We believe Egypt has the wisdom and capacity to find proper solutions and get through the current tough time."

 

Christina Larson is an award-winning foreign correspondent and science journalist based in Beijing, and a former Foreign Policy editor. She has reported from nearly a dozen countries in Asia. Her features have appeared in the New York Times, Wired, Science, Scientific American, the Atlantic, and other publications. In 2016, she won the Overseas Press Club of America’s Morton Frank Award for international magazine writing. Twitter: @larsonchristina

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