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January 22, 2010

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Sino-US relations not tied to Google issue, says official

CHINA said yesterday that the Google issue should not be "over-interpreted" or linked to Sino-US relations.

"The Google case should not be linked with relations between the two governments and countries; otherwise, it's an over-interpretation," Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said at a press conference.

Speaking nine days after Google threatened to quit China, the vice minister said that if foreign companies, including Google, encountered difficulties in the country, they should seek resolutions in accordance with Chinese law.

The government was willing to help them solve problems, He said.

Google's corporate development and chief legal officer, David Drummond, posted a statement on January 12 on the company's official blog, saying it was "reviewing the feasibility of our business operations in China."

According to the statement, disputes with the Chinese government on Internet regulation and major cyber attacks on the company allegedly originating from China had forced Google to consider exiting.

Google's statement sparked a worldwide focus on ties between China and the United States. Discussions included China's Internet environment and the China-US trade relationship.

But China dismissed linking the Google case with the bilateral relationship.

"I think that should not be interpreted too much, and come up as something concerning the Chinese and US governments," He said.

"When there is content concerning national security and unhealthiness, Internet supervision is normal," He said. "No matter what country, there is always supervision, and China is no exception.

"If foreign companies have different viewpoints with this regard, they should also seek solutions according to the law," He said.

China encouraged Internet enterprises to develop business in China, but "their development must follow Chinese law."

China has said that it firmly opposed and prohibited hacker attacks, as the country itself was the victim of cyber attacks.

"China's Internet is seriously threatened by cyber attacks like other countries," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said on Tuesday. On the same day, Google China posted a blog entry saying that its employees were working "as usual" in their Beijing offices.


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