China has blocked access to the video-sharing network YouTube.

 

The government denounced the site after footage appeared to show security forces beating Tibetans in Lhasa last year, which is described as ‘a lie'. Authorities have blocked the service on previous occasions and, more frequently, have prevented access to specific videos.

 

A spokesperson for parent company Google claimed that Beijing halted access to the site this week but said it did not know why. Scott Rubin, said: “We are looking into it and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible.”

 

The state news agency, Xinhua, yesterday condemned a recently posted video by the Tibetan government-in-exile, which showed the beating of Tibetan protesters and the wounds of a young man called Tendar. It alleged he was detained for attempting to stop police beating a monk, and later died of his injuries.

 

However an official for Xinhua, citing an unidentified official with China's Tibetan regional government, said that the video was fabricated. He said: “Technology experts found that video and audio was edited to piece together different places, times and people.”

 

The Guardian reports that a foreign ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, told reporters yesterday that he did not know about the block, adding: “Many people have a false impression that the Chinese government fears the internet. In fact, it is just the opposite.

 

“China's internet is open enough, but also needs to be regulated by law in order to prevent the spread of harmful information and for national security.”