Last month, Google, the world's largest internet company, closed down its search engine facility in China after issues with censorship and hacking.

The case has highlighted a growing cyber warfare between the West and China.

It is estimated that within the ranks of China's 380 million internet users, there are hundreds of thousands of computer hackers.

Motivated by patriotism, they have been accused by the West of pilfering a wide range of military intelligence, technology and commercial secrets.

Meanwhile, Chinese citizens are waging a war of their own - finding ways to circumvent sophisticated internet censorship systems, China's 'great firewall', to view sites that the government deems dangerous, including YouTube and Facebook.

Yet the firewall is growing as the Chinese Communist Party removes thousands of 'illegal' websites from view and locks up hundreds of net-based dissidents and editors.

The restrictions are raising questions about how much other countries and companies, as well as China's own netizens, will tolerate an increasingly restricted cyber space.

On this edition of 101 East, we look at the role of the internet in China and the rising tide of cyber warfare with the West.

This episode of 101 East airs from Thursday, April 8, 2010 at the following times GMT: Thursday: 1230; Friday: 0300; Saturday: 0530, 1730; Sunday: 0330, 1130; Monday: 1630; Tuesday: 1430; Wednesday: 0830, 1930; Thursday: 0630.

Source: Al Jazeera