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Google dispute progress unclear

[ 2010-03-09 12:59]     字号 [] [] []  
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The Chinese government's ambiguous expressions on whether Google was in talks with the country have put a cloud over the search engine's further development in China during the past three days.

And the words of a top official from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Monday make the atmosphere even murkier.

Li Yizhong, minister of MIIT, told reporters on Monday that Google must abide by Chinese laws and respect the wills of Chinese Internet users, if it still plans to continue its operations in China.

When asked whether Google was in talks with China, the 65-year-old minister said, "On this matter, Google knows it best itself."

The remarks were a sharp contrast to Li's earlier remarks last Friday, when he told reporters on the sidelines of the National People's Congress that the ministry is in talks with Google to resolve their dispute.

Miao Wei, vice-minister of MIIT, said during a formal group interview with reporters: "We have never received a request from Google for any negotiations and neither have we had any direct contact with them."

The vice-minister was apparently answering the question based on a printed response.

Google declined on Monday to comment on this report, but an employee from Google's local public relations firm told China Daily that they are also puzzled by the ambiguous expression from the government.

It remains unclear how Google's high-profile spat with the Chinese government is going. But Chinese officials have made two things seemingly clear in past remarks: the government is unlikely to give special treatment to Google on its request to provide unfiltered search results, and the country apparently does not want the Google issue to become a political dispute.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Google dispute progress unclear

About the broadcaster:

Google dispute progress unclear

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.