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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on March 23, 2010

On the afternoon of March 23, 2010, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a regular press conference and answered questions.

Qin Gang: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have an announcement to make. At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde of the Republic of Peru will pay an official visit to China from March 25 to 29.

Now, the floor is open.

Q: Today Google announced its decision to move its search services from mainland to Hong Kong. Will this affect China's international image?

A: An official in charge of the Internet bureau of the Information Office of the State Council already made remarks on Google's withdrawal from the mainland market today. This is simply an individual commercial case.

Q: As a user of Google, I feel quite inconvenient when Google's mainland Chinese site redirects itself to its Hong Kong site and the search results of some key words can not be displayed. Does this mean the Chinese Government has taken some retaliatory measures? What's more, Mr. Spokesperson, are you also a user of Google and have you felt the inconvenience?

A: The Chinese Government administers the Internet according to law and this position will not change. This is also an international common practice. As for myself, I used Google and I also use other search engines.

Q: Former Nepalese Prime Minister Koirala passed away recently. Has China sent a message of condolences?

A: Mr. Koirala is a renowned statesman of Nepal and an important promoter of China-Nepal friendship. His death is the loss of a great leader for the Nepalese people and also the loss of a sincere friend for the Chinese people. We deeply lament that.

Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi have sent messages of condolences to the Nepalese Prime Minister Madhav Nepal as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala respectively to express deep condolences over the death of Mr. Koirala.

Q: Why does the Chinese Government persist in censoring the Internet rather than giving Internet users the freedom to choose for themselves? Google's only wish is not to have its search results censored. Why can't it have the green light from the Chinese Government?

A: The answer to your question is very clear. The Chinese Government encourages and promotes the development of the Internet. In China, the Internet is fully open and at the same time administered according to law. We are firm on that and it is an international common practice. We need to prevent the spread of information harmful to national security and public interests. An Internet operator, like any other domestic and foreign enterprise in China, should abide by China's laws and regulations. In other countries, the operation of relevant companies should also observe local laws and regulations.

Q: I understand that foreign companies must abide by China's laws when doing business in China. But the remarks made by the official of the Information Office of the State Council did not specify whether Google has violated China's laws by redirecting its Chinese site to its Hong Kong site after entering www.google.cn. Second question, Australian Minister of Resources will visit China shortly. Please give us more details of his visit. Will the two sides sign cooperative agreements of energy resources? Will they discuss the Ri