BTW, there are 'rumours' floating around that China wants a couple of
A's or so...
Saying "China wants a couple of A's" is like saying "the US wants a
couple of A's". There are a large number of service providers in
China, some of which initially requested As and some of which didn't.
Back when China was first connecting, there were some initial dicussions
regarding allocation of an A for China's addressing needs, but there
was no single organization which would have been appropriate to delegate
the A to.
There is also a train of thought that China should simply use RFC-1918
addressing and some type of network address translation, since they control
explicit points of entry & exit to the global Internet from/to the country,
and are determined to isolate themselves from the remainder of the Internet
Last I heard, there were 5 organizations that have approved
international links for value added networks:
1) Chinanet (run by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications)
2) China Education and Research Network (connecting about 100 or so
3) Chinese Academy of Sciences
4) International High Energy Physics
5) Beijing University of Chemical Technology
Of these, I do not believe any control content or wish to isolate
themselves (to the contrary, I understand Chinanet and CERNET are
feverishly trying to deploy infrastructure to satisfy the massive
demand). The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications does want to
limit points of access into China, but they inform me this is to make
more efficient use of the expensive international circuits (in
international telco, the only economy you get is economy of scale -- a
single fat pipe is much cheaper than a bunch of smaller pipes with the
same aggregate bandwidth), but it should be noted that there are
already 6 international links connecting China to the Internet (albeit
only 2, the ones run by Chinanet, are for commercial use).
I have heard reports that the official news agency in China (Xinhua
News Agency) wants to create an "intranet" for the distribution of
their information, but to my knowledge their network is separate from
the others and has not yet been deployed.