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Freedom of speech cannot be stopped: Chinese bloggers

The authorities cannot completely stifle free speech if bloggers stand by each other, a group of Mainland Chinese bloggers who are visiting Hong Kong declared.

world Updated: Oct 07, 2009 11:33 IST

The authorities cannot completely stifle free speech if bloggers stand by each other, a group of Mainland Chinese bloggers who are visiting Hong Kong declared.

One of the bloggers, known as Beifeng, said he remains optimistic about China's future because the idea of civil conscience has been growing fast among the public, as well as the penetration rate of the Internet.

"Internet monitoring cannot cover every one of the 170 million bloggers," Beifeng told reporters.

"But we must be alert when policies attempting to control the Internet are introduced, and together stand up against them," he said yesterday.

The bloggers are in Hong Kong to promote a book about the budding Chinese blogging industry. Like political dissidents, bloggers are frequent targets of police harassment in Mainland China.

One of the 17 bloggers interviewed in the book, Ran Yunfei, said in his blog that state authorities in central China's Sichuan Province barred him from visiting Hong Kong for the book promotion tour. Ran co-signed a political reform Blueprint, "Charter 08," that calls for democracy and endorsement of personal rights in China.

"Whether (Charter 08) is good or not is up for debate, but in general we are optimistic, as long as we abide by the law, and act in accordance with common sense and conscience," Beifeng said.