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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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Media crackdowns: two years before Beijing Olympics(2)

Posted by Author on August 12, 2006

Reporters Without Borders, 7 August– (cont’d)

Further and further

The prolonged detention of New York Times researcher Zhao Yan and Straits Times correspondent Ching Cheong have shown that journalists working for the Chinese press are not the only targets of the crackdowns. The government also turns its sights on the foreign media whenever they do anything to upset it.

The foreign journalists who are based in China or come on visits continue to be subject to police control. Everyone is aware of the surveillance, including the phone tapping. One might have expected China to keep its promise to the IOC to guarantee the media’s freedom of movement. But this has not happened.

“In no other major country is there so much control over foreign journalists,” says Jonathan Watts of the Foreign Correspondents Club of China. Dozens of foreign journalists – both visitors and those based there – are detained, threatened or attacked each year. “We are unable to give an exact figure at the moment, somewhere between 50 and 100 a year, but the number of journalists prevented from working by force is a problem that should be raised at the highest level,” says Watts. The Foreign Correspondents Club still lacks official recognition and therefore has no premises of its own in Beijing. (to be cont’d…)

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