Degree awarded: M.A. School of International Service. American University Internet censorship in China is considered to be the most sophisticated in the world. However, it is also misunderstood. Many authors view the internet as a quick fix for democratization in the country. This thesis will study the history, tactics, and actors within the Chinese government's information control systems, showing that the Chinese government runs a nuanced system of information control used to maintain its authoritarian regime. Further, the Chinese government has proven to be quite adept at utilizing the internet, suggesting caution and restraint should be the proper responses to the use of the internet for democratization in China.