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China's Internet is open

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中国的互联网是开放的 (Zhōngguó de hūliánwǎng shì kāifàng de): China’s Internet is open

Jiang Yu: “What I want to emphasize is that China’s Internet is open.”

The Chinese government's official position on the degree of Internet freedom in the country. This official stance was perhaps most famously stated at a January 14, 2010 press conference by Jiang Yu, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry:

Q: Google announced that it might withdraw from the Chinese market and no longer cooperate with the Chinese Government on Internet censorship. What’s China’s response to that?


A: I want to stress that China’s Internet is open. The Chinese government encourages the development of the Internet and endeavors to create a sound environment for the healthy development of Internet. Chinese law prohibits any form of hacking activities. As in other countries, China manages the Internet in accordance with law. The measures we take are consistent with international practice. I also want to stress that China welcomes international Internet corporations to do business in China in accordance with law.


Q: Is YouTube blocked in China? Why?


A: I do not understand the situation to which you are referring. What I can tell you is that the Chinese government manages the Internet in accordance with the law. It has clearly written rules about which information should be prohibited from being spread on the Internet. I suggest that you ask CNNIC for information about this issue.

答:我不了解你所说的情况。我可以告诉你的是,中国政府依法管理互联网,明文规定哪些信息应被禁止在互联网上传播,建议你向中国互联网管理部门咨询有关情况。[Chinese source]

Jiang Yu’s comments were not the earliest mention of China’s “open Internet.” In 2009, Xinhua official Zhou Xisheng went so far as to say that “China has the most open Internet in the world.” In 2010, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu threw the same retort at U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Remarks on Internet Freedom.