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Tea Leaves

South Asians unfazed by China's Great Firewall

In Yunnan's eternal spring, visitors navigate their way around internet controls

Strolling along the sunny, tree-lined sidewalks of Dianchi Lake Resort, in China's Yunnan Province, I am determined to enjoy as much as possible of this part of Kunming, the provincial capital appropriately known as the City of Eternal Spring. Pursuing a slow pace of life seems a good idea in a province that (with the exception of Kunming's unsightly urban sprawl) is so picture-postcard perfect it seems a tad unreal.

I am traveling with a party of South Asian reporters, one of whom, a Nepalese, reminds me that we need to hurry: Work awaits, and his articles have to be filed as deadlines loom. The next day, however, he appears less rushed. Work can wait, he says, adding that his Gmail account is not functioning because of the so-called Great Firewall of China, which blocks much international internet traffic.

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