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China Calls on Russia to Tighten Internet Control to Keep Out 'External Forces'

China has urged Russia to tighten control over the Internet.

China has urged Russia and Central Asian partners in a six-nation security alliance to tighten control over the Internet and take other steps to prevent "external forces" from fomenting revolution in member states.

Chinese Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun's remarks at a meeting with counterparts from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or SCO, could lead to fears of further restrictions by states that critics say already try to silence dissent.

The Kremlin however has accused the West of supporting opposition protesters who ousted former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych from power in February and government opponents inside Russia.

"External forces are using the social-economic contradictions and problems ... to overthrow the authorities and are trying to provoke a new wave of color revolutions," Guo said Thursday, a Russian translation of his remarks reported.

"Color revolution" is the Russian term for the street protests that have brought down leaders in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan in the past decade.

"This is a serious threat to the sovereignty and security of countries in the region and is a shared concern of the SCO member states," Guo said.

The security alliance comprises Russia and China and the Central Asian former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Guo called on member states to come up with measures "to counteract interference in internal affairs from abroad, strengthen management of non-government organizations and control over social networks in order to discover, analyze, counter and regulate factors of uncertainty and avoid repeats of color revolution scenarios," the report said.

Kremlin critics accuse President Vladimir Putin of clamping down on dissent since he started a third term in 2012.

Russian authorities last month blocked access to a handful of Internet sites that have been platforms for criticism of the government, including those of prominent Putin foes Alexei Navalny and Garry Kasparov.

Read more:

Access Blocked to Major Opposition Sites and Navalny's Blog

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