China and the West: Parallel Worlds

Jacquelin Magnay reports in the Age, from Beijing:

With one week to go before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, host nation China stands in the centre of a global diplomatic storm, sparked by its insistence on strict internet censorship, but broadening yesterday to include human rights abuses.

US President George Bush declared that he would use his visit to Beijing for the opening ceremony to press for religious freedoms and human rights.

The IOC Media Commission confirmed that some internet sites have been blocked by the Chinese, but these were unrelated to the Olympics.

China responded by calling America’s intervention rude and saying it gave succour to “hostile anti-China forces”.

The trans-Pacific spat came as China and the International Olympic Committee were condemned around the world for striking a deal allowing China to back down on a promise to open up to the world during the Games.

Yesterday more than 150 websites were blocked in China

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