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Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:54

Naïve to expect China to dismantle firewall

Written by Nick Farrell



Kerry slagged off

The US Secretary of State John Kerry has been dubbed "naive" for calling for more Internet freedom in the country. The Chinese government also thought that the idea of the Americans demanding Internet freedom was a glass house that it should not be throwing stones in.

During an approximately 40-minute chat with bloggers in Beijing on Saturday, Kerry expressed his support for online freedom in China, as well as for human rights in general. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said outsiders had no right to pass judgment and misunderstood the real situation.

"If China's Internet had not gone through enormous development in the past few years then where would these bloggers have come from?" she told a daily news briefing. "China's affairs must be decided by Chinese people based on their own national condition. Using methods like this to push China in a direction of change they want, isn't that rather naive?"

She said that the topic of this discussion could have been even more open, for example discussing Snowden's case and issues like that, she said.

To be fair to Kerry, things in the US do not have become as bad as China yet, but running around telling other countries that they need to be free when your own country was ranked lower than Romania in terms of press freedom, by Reporters without Borders is really asking for trouble.

Nick Farrell

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