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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 Launches Crackdown On Overseas and Domestic “Hostile forces” Ahead of CCP Congress

Posted by Author on September 14, 2007

By Michael Bristow, BBC News, Beijing-

China has launched a crackdown on political dissidents and potential troublemakers ahead of the Communist Party’s 17th congress, which begins next month.

The congress, held every five years, is the party’s most important public political event.

At this year’s gathering, which will be held mostly behind closed doors, Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to tighten his grip on power, and the authorities are keen that those with other ideas are kept well away.

Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang, a member of the party’s politburo, identified a wide range of “hostile forces” that will be targeted.

“All police should…strike hard on overseas and domestic hostile forces, ethnic splittists, religious extremists, violent terrorists and the Falun Gong so as to safeguard national security and social stability,” he said.

Falun Gong is a spiritual movement that was banned in China after staging a massive demonstration in central Beijing in 1999.

Mr Zhou also referred to political dissidents, campaigners and people who advocate independence for the western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet.

He said efforts should also be made to step up control of the internet to create what he described as a “harmonious online environment”.

China already tries to prevent ordinary citizens logging on to certain websites.

News outlets are also being targeted in the run-up to the congress, which will be attended by more than 2,000 party delegates.

One editor of a Chinese newspaper told the BBC that the party’s central publicity department had issued two notices to editors telling them what stories they could and could not print.

The first notice was sent in July, and the second in mid-August.

“They told us there should be no negative reports before the party congress. We shouldn’t report stories about things such as land rights, petitioners and major incidents, such as accidents,” he said.

In what is perhaps an indication of just how worried newspaper editors are about making mistakes in the run-up to the congress, five of them recently managed to publish almost identical front pages.

There were striking similarities between the headlines, the placement of photographs and the articles selected for print…… (more details from BBC News: China tightens grip ahead of congress)

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