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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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School killings cast spotlight on social stresses in China

Posted by Author on May 17, 2010

By Kathrin Hille in Beijing, The Financial Times, May 15 2010 –

When a man with a cleaver walked into a kindergarten in China’s Shaanxi province on Wednesday and hacked seven children and their teacher to death, shock was not the first public reaction.

After six such attacks in as many weeks, the mood among parents is approaching panic.

“We cannot feel safe any more. How come they can’t stop this?” asked Li Wen, as she dropped off her daughter at a private Beijing kindergarten in a guarded compound in Beijing.

While killing sprees invariably prompt soul-searching, such attacks have rarely been made public in China and for many they are a vivid illustration of how the Chinese government is failing to live up to its pledge to create a “harmonious society”.

Thirty years of breakneck growth without political reform have left millions of Chinese displaced, uprooted and confused. The killers’ profiles mirror these social ills. Some were unemployed, others were involved in disputes over evictions and some had a history of mental illness.

“China’s society is entering a high-risk phase. The unfair distribution of wealth, official corruption, the failure to safeguard people’s basic needs, the inability to solve all these problems has created an inharmonious environment,” says Yue Guo’an, a professor of social psychology at Nankai University in Tianjin.

Even Wen Jiabao, China’s premier, acknowledged the deeper social implications of the attacks. “Apart from tight safety measures, we need to pay attention to addressing the root causes of these problems,” Mr Wen said. “That includes dealing with social conflicts and dispute resolution at the grassroots level.”…… (more details from The Financial Times)

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