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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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China’s hidden unrest (Part 1)

Posted by Author on July 18, 2006

Across rural China, tens of thousands of protests are waged against land seizures and corruption. Few people ever hear about them.

by Christin Jones, cpj.org

BEIJING-The word from the village of Dongzhou was growing dire last December 6. Security officers were clashing with residents over the local government’s seizure of land for a power plant. Official force, villagers said, was escalating.

“I called them every hour, and it kept getting worse. First it was tear gas, then there was shooting, then two dead, then more,” said Ding Xiao, the 23-year-old Hong Kong-based reporter who broke news of the violent crackdown for U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Asia. The crack of gunfire could be heard in tapes of her phone calls to residents of the village near Shanwei, in southern China’s Guangdong province. “They were asking for help. They said, ’Please call the central government to ask for help. We have called, but there was no response.’”

Following Ding’s report, the crackdown got wide attention outside of China. But print and broadcast media on the mainland were instructed to carry only a belated official account defending the use of force against the protesters. The death toll is still unknown; the government reported that three were killed, but human rights organizations have said the actual number may be much higher. Dongzhou villagers have been under tight surveillance since December and have been warned to keep silent on threat of punishment.

This policy of enforced silence has come to define the central government’s approach to widespread rural unrest, China’s most salient domestic issue. Fearing that news of land disputes and other civil discontent could fuel a united threat to its authority, the Communist Party government has undertaken one of the biggest media crackdowns since the aftermath of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations. (To be cont’d…)

Part: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

original report from CPJ.org 

Related:
– Report
: ” Rural Revolt – Rising Unrest in China”, by VOA
– Book to read: A Survey of Chinese Peasants

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