Kerry talks Internet freedom with Chinese bloggers

By Bai Tiantian and Liu Sha Source:Global Times Published: 2014-2-17 0:48:01

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with four Chinese bloggers in Beijing on Saturday to discuss geopolitics, US-China relations and Internet freedom.

During the hour-long discussion with Kerry, the bloggers, Ma Xiaolin, Wang Chong, Wang Keqin and Zhang Jialong, conveyed their opinions on a broad range of subjects, including the Diaoyu Islands dispute, US-China relations, China-Japan relations, China's anti-corruption campaign and Internet freedom. 

"We spent most of our time discussing geopolitics," Ma Xiaolin, a Middle East expert and founder of the website, told the Global Times.

"A big part of the conversation was not on Internet freedom but Internet safety. We talked a lot about collaboration," Ma noted.

Ma praised American diplomats for being "pragmatic."

"Kerry paid a lot of attention to international relations and bilateral ties, topics such as the Diaoyu Islands spat, the South China Sea, and North Korea. He did not consider Internet freedom the key topic of our discussion," said Ma.

Kerry praised China's recent anti-corruption campaign and said he saw many positive signals from the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, such as judicial reform and the reform on rural land, Wang Keqin confirmed to the Global Times.

"Kerry's meeting with Chinese bloggers shows the open and positive attitude the US government holds toward the China," Wang commented.

Wang Chong, another blogger, noted on his blog that Kerry noticed grass roots elections in China's countryside and the heated debate they sparked.

"Kerry saw China's improvement," said Wang. "He also emphasized that the US does not take a position in the disputes and urged China and Japan to solve the problem through dialogue."

Kerry met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his two-day visit.

Kerry left Beijing on Saturday afternoon. It was his second visit to China and his fifth to Asia since he took office.

Posted in: Politics

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