American officials urged China on Friday not to censor its Internet after the government blocked access to the Bloomberg News Web site. The Chinese government had denied Web access to the financial news agency after an investigative article on massive wealth amassed by relatives of Xi Jinping, the man expected to become China’s president.
“The U.S. strongly supports respect for freedom of expression and press freedom in China, including over the Internet,” said a State Department spokesperson who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter. “We have continually urged China to respect internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms on the Internet, including freedom of expression.”
Bloomberg News reporters and editors declined to comment on their interactions with the Chinese government in the course of preparing the article. But a company spokesman, Ty Trippet, acknowledged that the blockage of the Web sites of Bloomberg News and its magazine Businessweek appeared to be retaliatory, “in reaction, we believe, to a Bloomberg News story that was published on Friday.”