Date: July 01 2012
US OFFICIALS have urged China not to censor its internet after the government blocked access to the Bloomberg news agency's website. The Chinese government had denied web access to the agency following an investigative story on massive wealth amassed by relatives of Xi Jinping, the man expected to become China's new president.
''The US strongly supports respect for freedom of expression and press freedom in China, including over the internet,'' said a State Department spokesman. ''We have continually urged China to respect internationally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms on the internet, including freedom of expression.''
Bloomberg reporters and editors declined to comment on their interactions with the Chinese government in the course of preparing the story. But company spokesman Ty Trippet acknowledged that the blockage of Bloomberg's websites and its Business Week magazine seemed to be retaliatory for a Bloomberg News story that was published on Friday.
Chinese officials have recently stepped up repression of dissidents and journalists ahead of this year's key meeting of the 18th Party Congress and scheduled top leadership changes.
Bloomberg's investigative report focused on the man who will be at the helm of that new leadership, delving into hundreds of millions of dollars in assets held by the extended family of Mr Xi.
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