Chinese media calls Internet row US conspiracy

Written by Reuters | Beijing | Updated: Jan 28 2010, 03:35am hrs
Chinese state media stepped up their war of words with the United States over Internet control on Tuesday, with a top newspaper claiming a US conspiracy and saying China can live without Google.

Chinas foreign ministry, however, also signalled it did not want the dispute to boil over, saying recent stability in Sino-US ties had been hard-won.

After first fending off the criticisms from Google and Washington with tight-lipped restraint, Chinese officials and state-run media have launched a shower of scorn that has the hallmarks of a concerted counter-campaign.

The countrys top newspaper warned that the Internet row was hurting broader bilateral relationswhich have also been strained by currency and trade disputes, US arms sales to Taiwan, and the possibility President Barack Obama will meet the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing calls a separatist.