China agrees to lift internet censorship

Society Materials 1 August 2008 11:22 (UTC +04:00)

China agreed to lift internet restrictions at the Olympic press centre in Beijing following international protests, officials said Friday.

The websites of the British BBC, online encyclopedia Wikipedia, US broadcaster Radio Free Asia and the China-critical Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, which had been blocked, were suddenly accessible on Friday.

A spokesman of the Organizing Committee of the Beijing Olympic Games said China guaranteed access to the internet to facilitate Olympics coverage by Chinese and international journalists, reported dpa.

"The reporting by Chinese and international journalists through the internet is unhindered. We will abide by the promises we made in the bidding period to facilitate Chinese and international media to report the Olympic Games with good facilities and outstanding services," the spokesman said.

The changes followed talks last night between China's organizers and the International Olympic Committee on internet censorship.

Outside of the media centre, however, many websites remained off limits.