January 14, 2010 / 11:00 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-White House backs Google, seeks China explanation

* White House voices support for Google decision

* State Department raises issue with Chinese diplomat (Adds State Department spokesman)

WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - The White House said on Thursday it backed Google’s decision to no longer support China’s censoring of searches and U.S. diplomats sought an explanation from China on cyber attacks that prompted Google (GOOG.O) to threaten to quit the Chinese market.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that President Barack Obama had strong beliefs about the universal rights of men and women worldwide that would not be “carved out” for certain countries.

China has defended its extensive censorship after the U.S. Internet search giant threatened to leave the country following a spate of cyber attacks last month.

The senior Washington-based U.S. diplomat for China met with a Chinese diplomat on Thursday to seek an explanation about the cyber attacks and censorship, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters.

“The incident raises questions about — about both Internet freedom and the security of the Internet in China,” Crowley said.

“We have serious concerns about this and its ramifications, and we’re going to continue our dialogue with China on these and other kinds of issues,” he said of Deputy Assistant Secretary David Shear’s meeting with China’s deputy chief of mission in Washington.

“There are ... business standards and expectations, international norms that you expect your business partners to live up to,” added Crowley.

A senior U.S. official said Shear received no reply from the Chinese on the Google case. (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Paul Eckert; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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