Speaking today at a United Nations internet summit in Athens, a Chinese government official claimed that the PRC does not practice any form of internet censorship.
[Yang Xiaoqun]: I don't think we should be using different standards to judge China. In China, we don't have software blocking Internet sites. Sometimes we have trouble accessing them. But that's a different problem. I know that some colleagues listen to the BBC in their offices from the Webcast. And I've heard people say that the BBC is not available in China or that it's blocked. I'm sure I don't know why people say this kind of thing. We do not have restrictions at all.
Nick Gowing, BBC anchor and session moderator: Would you like to elaborate on that?
[Yang Xiaoqun]: How can I elaborate on it if we don't have any restrictions?
Some people say that there are journalists in China that have been arrested. We have hundreds of journalists in China, and some of them have legal problems. It has nothing to do with freedom of expression.
The Chinese official not named in the CNET article is Yang Xiaoqun.
He is "First Secretary, Permanent Mission of China to
the United Nations Office at Geneva" according to
John Cashman says,
I live in Shanghai. I have never been able to access a BBC website in the 11 months I've been here. Until last month, wikipedia was completely blocked. One day in October/ late September it was suddenly available. I'm waiting for it to be nixed again. Blogspot was also momentarily freed up at the same time, but I noticed blogspot is blocked again -- even with mild censorware workarounds like the .nyud.net:8090 suggestions from Boingboing that used to work in the past. Technorati is and always has been similarly inaccessible.
The official speaking at the conference should clearly be given a job in the Bush administration should things not work out for him in China. Ceci n'est pas un pipe, indeed.
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