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China denies responsibility for Gmail blockage

China has denied having anything to do with blocking access to Google's Gmail service after Google accused the communist regime of deliberately hobbling the web-based email service and making it look like it's Gmail's problem.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said: "We do not accept such accusations," according to the Washington Post.

The Internet advertising giant has had an uncomfortable relationship with China over recent months with Google threatening to quit the country and China threatening to kick them out on several occasions.

The latest spat kicked off after Chinese users started reporting problems accessing the email service. Google says it checked its own hardware carefully, remarking, "There is no technical issue on our side; we have checked extensively. This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail."

Google says that the highly sophisticated attacks have been aimed at high-profile anti-government dissidents. It reckons Beijing is getting jittery over fears that unrest in the middle east could spread further afield.

Google has recently moved much of its Chinese-language infrastructure to Hong Kong which operates under different laws to mainland China.