Beijing unblocks BBC Chinese site

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London, August 1 : The BBC's Chinese-language website appears to have been unblocked in China ahead of the Olympic Games.

According to a report by BBC News, an International Olympic Committee spokesperson called it a "good sign", after complaints about Internet access.

Some journalists arriving to cover the Games complained when they found a number of websites at Olympic media centres were blocked.

China has long prevented its citizens accessing websites it considers sensitive, but the issue has come to the fore over the last few days.

Thousands of journalists arriving in Beijing to cover the Olympic Games found they could not log on to certain sites.

These included news sites such as Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, and the websites of human rights groups like Amnesty International. Websites promoting independence for Tibet were also blacklisted.

The IOC promised to take the matter up with the organising committee for the Beijing Games.

The BBC's Chinese-language website was among many websites that were blocked by the authorities in China, but it now appears to have been made accessible.

"This is a great opportunity for us to show Chinese readers what first-class journalism we can deliver," said Lorna Ball, the head of the BBC's Chinese service. "But of course we will also want to check if the site is still available after the Olympics have ended," she added.

"This is a good sign. It's a work in progress. These are initial, encouraging signs," said an official, talking about the apparent access to the BBC site.

ANI

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