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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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Rampant Crime Belies China’s Claim of a ‘Harmonious Society’ (1)

Posted by Author on May 14, 2010

He Qinglian, Chinese author and economist, Via The Epochtimes –

On April 28, Zheng Mingsheng was sentenced to death for randomly stabbing a group of primary school students waiting to enter their school in southern China’s city of Nanping in Fujian Province. Nine children lost their lives in the incident.

Within three days of Zheng Mingsheng’s execution, three more attacks targeting school children took place in China.

Venting anger against society

The prosecutor investigating the Fujian case concluded the assailant was venting his “anger against society.” The topic of the criminal’s “anti-social tendency” received extensive coverage in Chinese media.

An article published by Nanfang Weekly pointed out that the local government never mentioned the possibility of the killer being a mental patient; neither was that possibility mentioned in official “guiding” of reporting on the issue.

Public opinion on Chinese Internet forums ran that social injustice in China is pushing the lowest strata of society into acts of desperation.

A photo that spread on the Internet showed a banner parents put up in front of a primary school. The banner read, “Every debt has its debtor. Ahead, on the right, is the government office.” The board was asking assailants to settle their grievances directly with the government and not vent them on innocent school children.

Following the three consecutive attacks that shook China, media lost the freedom it had when reporting the first case. All of the reporting on the issue had to echo state-run Xinhua News and the local administrative bodies declined to disclose the assailants’ personal details.

One of the murderers, Chen Bingkang from Leizhou in Guangdong Province, was, according to some reports, a serious neurasthenia patient on long-term sick leave.

Regarding the incidents in Weifang, Shangdong Province, and Taixing, Jiangsu Province, there was little information available on the murderers other than from official outlets.

Articles in the media also changed their tone. A signed article by Cao Lin was posted on almost all news websites. The article’s central theme was that people should abandon the notion that crimes “avenging society” bespeak of flaws in the social justice system.

Other articles stressed that media should not report “just because there is news.” A lot of people carry resentment against the social system, and it may lead people to imitate the crime, the authors argued. Others commented that the attackers are blaming others for their misfortune and using violence to trigger social attention to their personal problems.

The initial discussions on the cause of the crimes had not made the regime take a good look at itself. Instead the blame was eventually diverted to media reports causing “crime imitation.” Perpetuating such an opinion provided the regime grounds to further clampdown on freedom of the press.(to be cont’d)

– by He Qinglian, Chinese author and economist, via The Epochtimes

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