Observing that China needs to explain about internet freedom, the Obama Administration on Friday said it would serve a formal demarche to the Chinese Government over the spat with Google.

The internet search engine has alleged Chinese attempts to “limit free speech on the Web”, and threatened to stop cooperating with Chinese internet censorship and consider shutting down its operations in China.

“We need to hear now from the Chinese,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

“We are anxious to hear from them. I think Google will keep us apprised on their next steps as it relates to China as well,” he said.

“We will be issuing a formal demarche to the Chinese Government in Beijing on this issue in the coming days, probably early next week,” the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, P.J. Crowley, said.

“It will express our concern for this incident and request information from China as to an explanation of how it happened and what they plan to do about it,” Mr. Crowley said.

The State Department official said the U.S. will continue to talk to China on this issue.

“It touches on things that are very important to us: Internet freedom, network security and human rights,” he said.

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