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Home > Press and Media Service > Spokeperson's Remarks
Chinese Embassy Refutes the Economist Special Report "China and the Internet"

The following is a letter from Mr. He Rulong, Spokesman of the Chinese Embassy in London to the Economist’s Letters Editor, which was carried in the print and online editions of the Economist on 19 April.

SIR – Your special report on China and the internet (April 6th) denigrated the Chinese government’s law-based regulation of the internet and accused China of “state-sponsored cyber-attacks”. This is untrue, unfair and unacceptable. China is a sovereign state under a rule of law. It is the right and responsibility of the Chinese government to regulate internet companies, which are not above the law. This is common practice worldwide. We not only require foreign internet companies to abide by Chinese laws, but also ask Chinese companies to follow the law in their host countries.

The Chinese government’s regulations have not hindered the vibrant development of the internet or the freedom of speech. China’s internet users total 564m. Sina Weibo alone has more than 500m registered users, posting 100m comments every day that cover all sorts of topics and opinions. The Chinese governments at various levels have also set up 60,000 e-government weibos, which are open to criticism from all quarters of society.

Moreover, China’s internet is among the most victimised by cyber-attacks, which the government has tackled in accordance with the law. The accusation that China engages in state-sponsored cyber-attacks does not square with the facts by any measure. On purpose or by accident, you did not mention the big cyber-attack last month that affected many countries. It turns out that European groups and individuals were behind it.

What we need in cyberspace is not confrontation or war, but rules and co-operation. China stands ready to work with the international community to conduct a constructive dialogue based on mutual respect and trust. Together we can build a cyberspace of peace, security and openness, serving the common interests of everyone.

He Rulong

Spokesman of the Chinese Embassy, London

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