The Cable

Clinton calls on China to explain Internet persecution

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling on the Chinese government to explain itself following attacks on on the Internet accounts of human rights activists that apparently originated from there.

"We look to the Chinese government for an explanation," she said in a statement. "The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy."

Google is threatening to pull out of China if the company can't renegotiate what has been its controversial policy of cooperating with Chinese government Internet censorship activities. Google, along with other Internet giants, has come under fire before for aiding Chinese Internet censorship and persecution of free speech by Chinese Internet monitors.

In 2006, Yahoo admitted giving the Chinese government information on activists that led to their arrests and imprisonment. The State Department has been meeting with top Internet leaders lately ahead of their planned push for more Internet-based diplomacy, which will be outlined in a major policy address by Clinton on Jan. 21.

For a detailed explanation of China's use of the Internet, read this.

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