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Chinese Ambassador says New York Times, Twitter and Facebook spread ‘rumours’ about China

By Emma McGarthy

Chinese ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming has defended China’s decision to block major western media sites, including the New York Times, Bloomberg and Facebook.

Xjaoming told Sky's Jeff Randall China is open, and there needs to be a better understanding of China by westerners.

Randall said: “China wants to be in cutting edge industries, wants to lead the way in global business. One of the world's booming businesses is media…yet in China the New York Times, Bloomberg, Facebook and Twitter are all blocked, what do you have to hide?”

Xiaoming said: "We manage the media according to the law. The important thing is that the media, whether it's foreign or Chinese, they have to fall in with the law of China and they have to serve the interests of the people.

"What we are concerned about is the healthy content, is whether it's in the interests of improving mutual understanding in China."

When asked what Facebook and Twitter could do to damage China, Xiaoming responded: “You should ask them…we expect them to be a good citizen in China, rather than spreading rumours and bias against China.”

According to Sky News, the blocking of The New York Times and Bloomberg in 2012 was a result of investigative journalism exposing the enormous wealth of certain Chinese leaders.

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Press Gazette last week reported on the temporary block of the Guardian, which it is thought was due to publishing an article on ethnic tensions in the Western Region of Xinjiang.

According to the New York Times, it has been restored.

In the interview with Randall, Xiaoming said: "There is a big imbalance about how much Chinese people know about the outside world and how much the outside world knows China."

He added: “I think it's really up to the media, for western journalists, they have to open their eyes to see the comprehensive picture of China."

Sky News reports that journalists working in China are regularly blocked from objectively reporting on the country.

Sky News ournalists spent four hours in detention in March 2013 for referring to the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and in November they were blocked from meeting the wife of the Nobel Peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo, who remains in prison.

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