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DATE=        FEBRUARY 4, 1998
TYPE=        EDITORIAL
NUMBER=      0-07635
TITLE=       EDITORIAL:  CHINESE RESTRICTIONS ON INTERNET
CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 
FEBRUARY 4, 1998.
ANNCR:
THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE 
VARIETY OF ISSUES.  NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF
THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
VOICE:
    THIS IS AN AGE, AS PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON HAS SAID, "WHERE 
CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION ARE MULTIPLYING ALL THE TIME -- FROM 
THE SHORTWAVE RADIO TO SATELLITES. . .FROM PHONE TO FAX TO THE 
INTERNET.  LET US USE THESE TOOLS," SAID PRESIDENT CLINTON, "TO 
SHARE THE BENEFITS OF WISDOM, LEARNING AND COOPERATION WITH ONE 
ANOTHER."
    ONE COUNTRY WHERE USE OF INFORMATION TOOLS IS EXPANDING IS 
CHINA.  RECENTLY THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT ADOPTED NEW REGULATIONS 
GOVERNING USE OF THE INTERNET.  ACCORDING TO PRESS REPORTS, ONE 
REGULATION SAYS THE INTERNET CANNOT BE USED TO DEFAME THE CHINESE
GOVERNMENT.  ANOTHER SAYS THE INTERNET MUST NOT BE USED TO SPLIT 
THE COUNTRY.  THE NEW RULES IMPOSE CRIMINAL PUNISHMENTS FOR 
VIOLATORS.  THE UNITED STATES IS CONCERNED THAT CHINESE 
AUTHORITIES MIGHT USE THE NEW REGULATIONS TO INTERFERE WITH THE 
PEACEFUL EXPRESSION OF POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS IDEAS.  
    THE U.S. SUPPORTS THE FREE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS THROUGHOUT THE 
WORLD.  THE INTERNET IS A DYNAMIC AND USEFUL MECHANISM FOR 
DISSEMINATING INFORMATION TO SCHOLARS, OFFICIALS AND PEOPLE IN 
ALL WALKS OF LIFE.  AS WITH OTHER FORMS OF COMMUNICATION, THE 
FREEST POSSIBLE FLOW OF INFORMATION VIA THE INTERNET IS 
CONSISTENT WITH THE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED HUMAN RIGHTS OF 
FREE SPEECH AND FREE EXPRESSION.  CHINESE GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO 
PREVENT REASONABLE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, OR TO BLOCK ACCESS TO 
WEB SITES FOR POLITICAL REASONS, ARE CONTRARY TO THESE 
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS.
ANNCR:
    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED 
STATES GOVERNMENT.  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, 
PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 
20547, U-S-A.  YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043.  
YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
03-Feb-98 4:35 PM EST (2135 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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