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January 23, 2010

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China hits back at US criticism of Net control

CHINA hit back at US criticism of Internet control yesterday, warning that relations between the two countries were hurt by the unreasonable accusations in the name of so-called Internet freedom.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday called for China to lift restrictions on citizens' use of the Internet.

"The US side had criticized China's policies on Internet administration, alluding that China restricts Internet freedom. We firmly oppose such words and deeds, which were against the facts and would harm China-US relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said yesterday.

The spokesman said China's Internet is open, and the country has witnessed the most active development of the Internet in the world.

According to Ma, by the end of last year, the number of Chinese cyber citizens on the mainland had reached 384 million with 3.68 million Websites and 180 million blogs.

The Chinese constitution protects the citizens' freedom of speech, and it is policy of the Chinese government to promote the development of Internet, he said.

Ma added that China has its own domestic situation and cultural tradition, and it accords with the world's common practice that China administers the Internet according to its laws and policies.

Along with the US accusations, the hacker attack is also a hot issue for China, including the one related to Google and another search engine,, which claimed to have suffered a serious attack on January 12.

"The Chinese laws forbid hacker attacks and activities that infringe upon citizen's privacy in any form. China is one of the major victims of hacker attacks in the world," Ma said.

According to the Internet Society of China, the number of cyber attacks from abroad saw a year-on-year increase of 148 percent in 2008.

"China advocated to severely fight against hacking through international cooperation, so as to protect Internet safety and citizen's privacy," Ma said.

As for China-US relations, nevertheless, the spokesman highlighted the importance of cooperation.

He called on the United States to work with China to implement the consensus reached by leaders of the two countries on the development of bilateral relations, respect each other's core interest and great concerns, handle disputes and sensitive issues appropriately, so as to maintain a healthy development of China-US relations.


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