Beijing denies Internet censorship accusations

Accusations by a press freedom group that China was one of the worst culprits of systematic online censorship were 'groundless,' the Chinese government, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.


China was one of 13 countries singled out by Reporters Without Borders in a 24-hour online protest against Internet censorship.


The others were: Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia , Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.


'We find these accusations groundless,' said an officer at the Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson's office who declined to be named.


China has the world's second-largest population of Internet users after the US, with more than 123 million people online, the Associated Press report said.


Though the communist government promotes Internet use, it has also set up an extensive surveillance and filtering system to prevent Chinese from accessing material considered obscene or politically subversive, the report said.


The government said its management of the Internet complied with international standards.


But Reporters Without Borders said in its annual report that out of 61 people worldwide who have been imprisoned for posting what the respective countries claimed was 'subversive' content, 52 were in China.