The South China Morning Post announced that the Chinese government is lifting its ban on foreign websites they consider politically sensitive, but only in the 17 square mile Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Currently attempts to access Facebook, Twitter and other sites on the ban list from within China return in an error message: “Network Timeout.”
The new decision will mean people inside the 17-square-mile area will be able to access Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times and more. The Free Trade Zone opens Sunday. The zone is planned to serve as a test for reforms in the financial and service sector. This includes improved contact to the tightly-controlled Yuan. If the Chinese government finds this experiment a success it could lead to some of these policies being applied in other parts of China.