Washington – Following a
speech on Thursday by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that criticized
Internet censorship in countries including China, China
responded harshly, urging the U.S.
"to respect the truth and to stop using the so-called Internet freedom
question to level baseless accusations," The New York Times reported,
citing the local Global Times. In her speech, Clinton said that "a new information curtain is descending across much of the
Ma Zhaoxu, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, asserted
in the Global Times that "The Chinese Internet is open," adding,
"The U.S. campaign for uncensored and free flow of information on an
unrestricted Internet is a disguised attempt to impose its values on other cultures
in the name of democracy."
The blunt talk is the latest escalation after
Google (NASD: GOOG) suffered a malicious attack on its Gmail service that targeted the
accounts of Chinese human rights activists.
The company responded by saying it
would no longer censor its search results in China at the behest of the Chinese
government, and in fact is considering a complete exit from the Chinese market.
Mrs. Clinton’s speech intensified the dispute, with the Global Times noting in
an editorial that Clinton "had raised the
stakes in Washington’s clash with Beijing over Internet
government’s ideological imposition is unacceptable and, for that reason, will
not be allowed to succeed," said China’s Ma Zhaoxu.