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This article examines the effect of the Internet on politics in China. Specifically, it suggests that the relationship between the Internet and political change in China is conditioned by the government’s strategic responses based on the national interest. Research regarding the effect of the Internet on politics in China needs to take into account the government’s responses to diverse types of online issues, here categorized under politics, society, and nationalism. The article examines how the Chinese government’s responses vary by issue type. The two existing theories—mobilization theory and reinforcement theory—do not offer sufficient explanation of the Chinese government’s responses to specific issues.