China unblocks CBC websites

China has unblocked the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's websites a week after the broadcaster's president formally complained to Chinese officials.

China has unblocked the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's websites, a week after the broadcaster's president formally complained to Chinese officials.

CBC President and CEO Hubert Lacroix. ((Canadian Press))

"We have today heard that access to CBC/Radio-Canada's English and French websites in China is no longer blocked," said Hubert T. Lacroix in a letter to China's ambassador to Canada, Lu Shumin.

"I am writing to thank you personally for what I assume was your expeditious assistance in this matter."

French-language website had been blocked for six months while English site had been cut off since January.

Lacroix had formally complained about the blockage last week, writing the ambassador to ask why the websites were blocked and to "take steps to ensure that this policy is reversed."

He wrote that Chinese government officials in 2006 promised to "provide services of an Olympic standard to athletes, officials, spectators and the media in order to facilitate their participation and enjoyment of the Games."

Beijing will host the Olympic Games starting in August. CBC is the official Canadian broadcaster of the Games.

Wikipedia, BBC unblocked

China recently unblocked access to the English version of Wikipedia, the user-written online encyclopedia, according to reports.

The move came after International Olympic Committee (IOC) members warned Chinese Olympic organizers that such censorship reflected poorly on the host country, Reuters reported.

In March, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported China unblocked its English news website after years of tight control. Chinese-languages services within the BBC's website remain censored, said the broadcaster.

Human rights groups have criticized China for regularly blocking Western websites, but Chinese government officials say filtering subjects considered pornographic or subversive protects citizens from harmful content on the internet.