Bus ushers take selfies on an empty street adjacent to the Great Hall of the People during the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing, Friday, March 3, 2017. Thousands of delegates have gathered at the Chinese capital for the opening of the annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which advises the rubberstamp parliament, whose annual session begins Sunday. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Senior China government adviser criticizes web censorship

March 04, 2017 - 12:57 am

BEIJING (AP) — A senior member of the Chinese legislature's official advisory body is warning that the country's internet censorship is hampering scientific research and economic development, in a rare public criticism of a sensitive government policy.

Vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Luo Fuhe says the slow speed of access to overseas academic websites forced domestic researchers to buy software to circumvent China's site-blocking firewall, or even travel overseas to conduct research.

His remarks, reported by state media Saturday, came as national leaders and thousands of appointed representatives are gathering in Beijing for the national legislature's annual session.

China's sophisticated internet censorship tools block numerous foreign social media and news websites. But they also hamper access to some research and university websites, whether by design or inadvertently.

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