China orders foreign firms to obey their laws

A representative for the Chinese foreign ministry said that foreign firms trading in the country have to obey its laws, in a rebuff to Google and others.

China disapproves of hacking, the representative told reporters at a regular press briefing, and had itself been hacked. Google  has to respect the local customs and traditions.

While the Indian government claims its systems had been hacked by China, the representative denied that too.

This might all come as rather a surprise to the government of the United States – several reports have emerged in the last few months alleging that the Chinese government was behind a number of cyberattacks on both military and commercial targets.

It’s quite hard finding out what Chinese “laws” are, anyway. Amnesty International tracks the death penalty in China. According to its site, in 2009, “the criminal justice system remained highly vulnerable to political interfence. The courts, the prosecuting organ and the police remained under the supervision of the Chinese Communist Party.”

China, according to Amnesty, uses broad provisions of the criminal law concerning state security to silence dissent. A miniumum of 7,000 death sentences were delivered in 2009.