Free Press Journal

China dismisses Kerry’s criticism of internet freedom


Beijing: Days after US Secretary of State John Kerry asked Chinese leaders to support Internet freedom, Beijing today retorted by asking why he did not mention whistleblower Edward Snowden in a meeting with its bloggers.

Dismissing Kerry’s call to support internet freedom as “naive”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “How can there be so-called bloggers in China without the leap forward development of China’s internet?”

She was answering a question at a media briefing on Kerry’s comments at a meeting with Chinese bloggers here on February 15.

“Obviously, we think that the Chinese economy will be stronger with greater freedom of the Internet,” Kerry had said.

China is estimated to have about 300 million bloggers who communicate through Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter that is emerging as an alternate media.

But Hua said if some persons hoped to “make China develop in a way according to their expectations, then it is little bit too naive”.

She said, “China is a country under the rule of law and we administer the internet in accordance with law. I also want to stress that the Chinese people run their own affairs in accordance with domestic conditions.”

Hua said Kerry should have also mentioned the Snowden episode, which resonated across the world after the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor disclosed scores of files pointing to espionage by the US in many countries.

“I think topics of this meeting could have been diversified and they could have talked about Snowden’s case,” she said. Hua accused the media of carrying false reports about bloggers’ protests against internet controls in China.

She claimed the misinterpretation and “out of context” reporting showed the quality of foreign media.

China dismisses Kerry’s criticism of internet freedom