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China's top Red vows to 'purify' net

Could be a long march, comrade

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Chinese Communist Party big cheese Hu Jintao today announced the country's intention to maximise the economic potential of the web, while seeking to "purify the internet environment", Reuters reports.

The comments came as the party's 24-strong politburo met to cast an eye over China's burgeoning internet - boasting 137m registered users at the end of 2006, according to China Internet Network Information Centre figures released yesterday.

Hu told the politburo the party should "strengthen administration and development of our country's internet culture". He continued: "[To] maintain the initiative in opinion on the internet and raise the level of guidance online, we must promote civilised running and use of the internet and purify the internet environment."

Hu stressed the need to exploit the net's possibilities, while keeping a tight grip. "Ensure that one hand grasps development while one hand grasps administration," he concluded. ®

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