Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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  • Books to Read

    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
  • Did you know

    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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Archive for the ‘Journalist’ Category

Why I Protested Hu Jintao at the White House- Former News Reporter’s Account

Posted by Author on January 17, 2011


By Wenyi Wang-

On April 20, 2006, I interrupted remarks by China’s paramount leader Hu Jintao at a press conference at the White House with a simple protest: I shouted and held up a banner.

In my protest I shouted two phrases in Chinese. I first shouted “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong.” I did so to try to stop an atrocity then unfolding in China. We had learned that the harvesting of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners in China was accelerating. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Crime against humanity, Hu Jintao, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, Official, People, Politics, Social, USA, World | Comments Off on Why I Protested Hu Jintao at the White House- Former News Reporter’s Account

China’s Propaganda Department issues orders for 2011- a blackout on social and economic problems

Posted by Author on January 14, 2011


China’s Propaganda Department, which is under the direct orders of the country’s Communist Party, has marked the New Year with a series of directives to the media. Regarded as state secrets, they have been delivered by word of mouth to journalists at meetings where note-taking has been banned.

However, Reporters Without Borders has obtained details of the instructions.

They impose a blackout on social and economic problems with a view to “reassuring” the people and defending the concept of fair growth. Many issues are off-limits, so that the party line is not challenged. They include the property market, rising prices, corruption, the demolition of housing and compulsory relocation, residence permits, the absence of social security, inadequate transport during the Chinese New Year and popular discontent that finds expression in anti-government demonstrations. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, World | Comments Off on China’s Propaganda Department issues orders for 2011- a blackout on social and economic problems

Renowned Dissident Writer Li Hong Dies, Chinese Authorities Prevent Funeral

Posted by Author on January 5, 2011


Founding editor of the popular Zhejiang News and former chief-editor of the Chinese literary and news website Aegean Sea (Aiqinhai), Li Hong, died on Dec. 31. He was in his hospital bed, surrounded by domestic security police.

Chinese authorities sealed off news of his death and stopped dissidents and human rights activists from attending the funeral.

Li Hong, renowned for his poetry, plays, and freelance writing, was born Zhang Jianhong. He died at age 52 in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, an NGO. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Li Hong, News, People, Politics, Social, World, writer | Comments Off on Renowned Dissident Writer Li Hong Dies, Chinese Authorities Prevent Funeral

Senior Chinese reporter dies 10 days after being beaten, may related to his reports critical of the local officials, colleagues believe

Posted by Author on December 28, 2010


Committee to Protect Journalists-

New York, December 28, 2010–The death of Sun Hongjie, a senior reporter at the Northern Xinjiang Morning Post, must be fully investigated by regional authorities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and by central authorities in Beijing, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Sun died in a hospital in Kuitun today, 10 days after being beaten by several men at a construction site, international news reports said.

At least six young men attacked Sun at the Kuitin construction site, where the reporter had gone to meet a source, according to international news reports. Authorities dismissed journalism-related motives last week, saying the attack stemmed from an online dispute involving a social media acquaintance of Sun. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, Media, News, NW China, People, Social, World, Xinjiang | Comments Off on Senior Chinese reporter dies 10 days after being beaten, may related to his reports critical of the local officials, colleagues believe

Imprisoned 10 Years in China, Epoch Times Editor up for Release

Posted by Author on December 17, 2010


After spending the last 10 years of his life in a Chinese prison, Zhang Yuhui is scheduled to be released on Dec. 21. The former editor-in-chief of the China branch of The Epoch Times was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role with the uncensored, Chinese-language edition of the newspaper.

A photograph of Zhang, a letter to his wife, and a letter to the U.S. Congress, which were smuggled out of the prison by inmates in 2004, are among the few records of his life obtained over the last decade. Unable to contact the outside world or his wife and two children, his current condition is unknown. He is known to have been tortured by the Chinese authorities in the early years of his arrest. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, Speech, Torture, World | Comments Off on Imprisoned 10 Years in China, Epoch Times Editor up for Release

Imprisoned 10 Years in China, Epoch Times Editor up for Release

Posted by Author on December 14, 2010


By Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times Staff, Dec. 14, 2010 –

After spending the last 10 years of his life in a Chinese prison, Zhang Yuhui is scheduled to be released on Dec. 21. The former editor-in-chief of the China branch of The Epoch Times was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role with the uncensored, Chinese-language edition of the newspaper.

A photograph of Zhang, a letter to his wife, and a letter to the U.S. Congress, which were smuggled out of the prison by inmates in 2004, are among the few records of his life obtained over the last decade. Unable to contact the outside world or his wife and two children, his current condition is unknown. He is known to have been tortured by the Chinese authorities in the early years of his arrest. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, Torture, World | Comments Off on Imprisoned 10 Years in China, Epoch Times Editor up for Release

Three Tibetan Writers Tried as ‘Splittists’

Posted by Author on November 6, 2010


Radio Free Asia, Nov. 5, 2010-

Three Tibetan writers detained earlier this year by Chinese authorities have been tried on charges of “inciting activities to split the nation,” according to sources in the region.

“The three writers—Jangtse Donkho, Buddha, and Kalsang Jinpa—were tried on Oct. 28 by the Aba [in Tibetan, Ngaba] Intermediate People’s Court,” in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, said Kanyak Tsering, a Tibetan living in India and citing contacts in Tibet. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, SW China, Tibet, World, Xizang | Comments Off on Three Tibetan Writers Tried as ‘Splittists’

China Closes Popular Internet Forum 1984bbs.com

Posted by Author on October 13, 2010


Radio Free Asia, Oct.12, 2010 –

HONG KONG— Chinese authorities have closed a popular Internet discussion forum, or Bulletin Board System (BBS), in the wake of the awarding of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo, and are holding its organizer under house arrest.

The organizer, known by his online nickname of Zhang Shuji, or Party Secretary Zhang, said the forum was closed on Friday after it began a discussion of Liu’s Nobel Prize.

“I have been confined to house arrest and prevented from going out for the past few days,” said Zhang, who was contacted by national security police in Beijing and told to close the popular “1984bbs” site. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Beijing, censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, News, Online forum, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on China Closes Popular Internet Forum 1984bbs.com

Chinese reporter tells story of ‘EU censorship’ during China-EU summit

Posted by Author on October 12, 2010


ANDREW RETTMAN AND ANDREW WILLIS, The EUobserver.com, 11.10.2010 –

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – One of the reporters temporarily excluded from the China-EU summit last week has talked to EUobserver about his “surprise” at facing Chinese-style censorship in the bosom of the European Union.

Lixin Yang, who has full press accreditation in the EU institutions in Brussels, was first denied entry when he and three colleagues arrived at the metal detectors at the summit venue, the EU Council’s Justus Lipsius building, at 2pm local time last Wednesday (6 October). He works for the government-critical media The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty Television, which have links to the repressed Falun Gong movement. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in censorship, China, Europe, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, NTDTV, People, Politics, Press freedom, Social, World | Comments Off on Chinese reporter tells story of ‘EU censorship’ during China-EU summit

China threatening to kill me, Canada reporter says

Posted by Author on September 23, 2010


By ANDREA WOO, Vancouver Sun, Canada,  September 22, 2010 –

A Surrey-based reporter says China’s Ministry of State Security is threatening his family, life and livelihood for his critical coverage of the Chinese government.

Surrey resident Tao Wang moved to B.C. from China in 2007 and began working as a local general assignment reporter for the Canadian branch of Falun Gong-affiliated New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) in July 2009.

Most of his assignments for the international broadcaster have been innocuous, on topics such as the opening of the Canada Line, the Olympics and the harmonized sales tax.

However, some of his reports have been critical of the Chinese government and its practices. NTDTV is one of the few networks with dissenting views that broadcasts in the Communist nation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Canada, China, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, NTDTV, People, Politics, Speech, World | Comments Off on China threatening to kill me, Canada reporter says

China: Alarming trend of violence against journalists (3)

Posted by Author on August 26, 2010


<< previous

Censorship favouring companies

Here are some other recent cases in which the authorities have protected companies and businessmen at the expense of media freedom:

Tang Jun’s spurious doctorate claim The Propaganda Bureau in Beijing banned the media on 12 July from repeating allegations that Tang Jun, one of the former CEO of Microsoft’s operations in China, had not obtained the US university doctorate listed in his résumé. The allegations caused a major stir online and led journalists to check the authenticity of the diplomas claimed by other prominent Chinese figures.

The magazine Business Watch and the state power company Grid Corp The magazine Business Watch was suspended for a month in early May over an article it had published in March about the state power company Grid Corp. The authorities did not like the magazine’s user of internal company documents for the story.

Explosion in a Nanjing factory When there was an explosion at a Nanjing factory with a toll of 300 injured and 10 missing on 28 July, a Jiangsu TV crew went there and began broadcasting reports until an official intervened and told them to stop, threatening them with “serious problems” if they did not. The footage that had already been broadcast was then removed from the Internet.

Attack on Zhongguo Shibao reporter When Chen Xiaoying, a reporter for the newspaper Zhongguo Shibao (China Times), arrived at the place in Shenzhen where she was supposed to meet an anonymous source on 29 July, a man punched her hard in the face several times. She had gone there because she had been told she would be given information about the Shenzhen International Enterprise Co., a company she had already written about on 8 July. Chen thinks the attack was linked to that story, in which she suggested that the company’s CEO was involved in illegal activity. The CEO had told her after its publication that: “This kind of story will not be good for you.” The company denied any role in the assault.

Exemplary support for Qiu Ziming

Cases of this kind can sometimes have a happy ending. Economic Observer reporter Qiu Ziming went into hiding in July after being placed on a list of most wanted criminals by the police in the eastern province of Zhejiang, for allegedly defaming Kan Specialties Material Corporation, a Suichang-based company that is one of China’s biggest battery manufacturers. The Zhejiang authorities finally rescinded the warrant for his arrest on 29 July after he won a great deal of support online thanks to his blog, in which he said he stood by the allegations of improper practices that he had levelled against the company.

These cases show that more and more journalists are testing the limits of press freedom in China. But, with increasing frequency, they are running up against solid resistance from the government and both state and private-sector companies.

– from the Reporters Without Borders

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China: Alarming trend of violence against journalists (3)

China: Alarming trend of violence against journalists (2)

Posted by Author on August 26, 2010


<< previous

Dangerous for health, dangerous for journalists

Reporters Without Borders reiterates its call for an exhaustive investigation into an assault on Fang Xuanchang, a science reporter for the magazine Caijing, as he was returning home on 24 June in Beijing. Beaten over the head and back with a steel bar by two unidentified assailants, Fang had to be rushed to hospital. Until now, the police have conducted no more than desultory enquiries into what appears to have been a murder attempt.

Fang told the US magazine Foreign Policy (www.foreignpolicy.com) that his mysterious assailants clearly tried to kill him. But who tried to kill him and why? Fang does not know the identity or motives of his attackers but he has some theories. He thinks for example that they might have been hired by a doctor he criticised in one of his articles. Fang has written about medical charlatans, fake discoveries and the questionable practices of several small health-sector companies.

There are other possible motives for the attack. Fang exposed the presence of genetically-modified cereals in China. In a TV programme, he challenged a scientist’s claim to be able to predict earthquakes. And he exposed a doctor who claimed to have found a miracle cure to cancer.

In another case, on 13 August, the Propaganda Department imposed censorship on reports about Synutra, a brand of milk-powder produced by a company based in the northeastern city of Qingdao. Several media reports had blamed the powder for hormonal problems in young girls. The health ministry issued a denial on 12 August, claiming that the powder had been analysed by nine experts and that no link with the hormonal problems had been established. Thereafter the media were told they could only use the official news agency Xinhua’s dispatches on subject.

Meiri Jingji Xinwen (National Business Daily), a newspaper based in Shanghai, has also paid the price for questioning a product’s quality. A Hong Kong-based newspaper claimed in June that Bawang, a famous herbal shampoo endorsed by film star Jackie Chang in ads, contained a very high level of a carcinogen called dioxane. After Meiri Jingji Xinwen reported these allegations, four people from the Bawang company stormed into its offices on 30 July and threatened the editor and staff.

In May this year, Bao Yueyang was moved from his job as editor of the newspaper Zhongguo Jingji Shibao (China Economic Times) to another post within the Development Publishing Company as a result of his coverage of allegations about contaminated vaccines in Shanxi province. It had been a big story in the Chinese press since March until the authorities restricted reporting on Chinese websites and ordered the traditional media to just use Xinhua’s dispatches. Bao, who refused to comment on his demotion, had a reputation for encouraging his reporters to investigate sensitive issues……(Reporters With Borders)

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China: Alarming trend of violence against journalists (2)

China: Alarming trend of violence against journalists

Posted by Author on August 26, 2010


Reporters Without Borders, 26 August 2010 –

Chinese journalists and media are increasingly finding themselves the targets of threats and censorship by private-sector companies (and some state companies as well). Several cases with serious implications for press freedom in China have illustrated this privatisation of censorship and violence against journalists in the past few weeks. The phenomenon is not new, but it is tending to grow in an alarming manner.

In one case, two journalists had a run-in with the police for writing a story about a biotech company. In another case, a respected Beijing journalist was physically attacked a few weeks ago after several articles about doctors and health sector entrepreneurs had a big impact.

Reporters Without Borders condemns the way certain companies harass journalists. Often accused of corrupting local media, many Chinese companies are nowadays using their influence over the authorities (including the police and Propaganda Department) to avoid negative coverage. Paradoxically, this is taking place at a time when the Chinese public is taking more interest in consumer rights and the quality of goods and services.

“We urge the government to take energetic measures to protect Chinese journalists who sometimes put their lives in danger to cover these companies,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We welcome the statement that the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) issued on 30 July expressing its support for journalists. It is time the authorities investigated all these cases thoroughly.”

Reporters Without Borders has gathered information about all the main press freedom cases involving Chinese companies.

One of the latest was the interrogation of journalist Liu Hongchang on 9 August by police, over an article he wrote together with a colleague, A Liang, about the internal problems of Hanlin, a Laiyang-based company based in Laiyang, in the eastern province of Shandong, and its ambitions to become a biotech giant. The article was posted on the Qianlong.com website, which was ordered to withdraw it after the Laiyang Propaganda Bureau alerted the authorities in Beijing.

The police who interrogated Liu Hongchang questioned him above all about his sources and the bribes they suspected he and A Liang were given to write the article. A Liang was not interrogated because he was absent from Beijing at the time. The police threatened to issue a warrant for his arrest if he did not respond to the summons. Several Chinese journalists have publicly expressed their support for Liu Hongchang and A Liang and accused the police of violating press freedom……. (to be cont’d)

Posted in Beijing, censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China: Alarming trend of violence against journalists

Canada Calls on Chinese Embassy to Give Back Journalist’s Passport

Posted by Author on August 18, 2010


By Matthew Little & Jason Loftus, Epoch Times Staff, Aug. 18, 2010 –

TORONTO— The office of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has called on the Chinese embassy in Ottawa to return a Canadian journalist’s passport, which he said was withheld when he refused to provide details about his personal life in Canada.

Zhang Zhaopei applied for a visa to visit China from the Chinese consulate in Toronto on Friday, submitting his Canadian passport as part of the process. But when he went to pick up his visa, he was given a blank sheet of paper and told to list extensive personal information about his work, family, and personal history.

Mr. Zhang refused, saying he would abandon his visa application. But Zhang says he was told he still wouldn’t get his Canadian passport back if he didn’t provide the requested details.

“I never thought they can do this thing,” said Zhang, a reporter for New Tang Dynasty Television and a Falun Gong practitioner.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Minister Cannon said Canada had asked for the passport to be returned.

“We are aware that the individual in question had requested a visa on Friday to travel to China and that his passport has not been returned,” spokesperson Melissa Lantsman told The Epoch Times.

“A Canadian passport is the property of the government of Canada. We have made a formal request to the Chinese embassy that the passport be returned into our possession.”

Ms. Lantsman said her office had read Mr. Zhang’s story earlier this week in The Epoch Times and that the coverage had brought “much needed attention” to his case.

Zhang was attempting to return to China to visit his family who he has been unable to see in nine years.

Zhang had tried to return to China from Singapore in 2002 and 2004, only to be sent packing once he landed in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively. At that time, he was told it was because he practiced Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese meditation practice that became the target of persecution in China in 1999 and has since put up a spirited defence of human rights.

Mr. Zhang immigrated to Canada in 2005 and is now a citizen. He said he wasn’t surprised he was denied a visa this time around, though having his passport withheld did come as a shock.

New Tang Dynasty Television has encountered interference from the Chinese authorities in the past. The regime previously pressured a European satellite carrier to drop the station’s signal into China and has also attempted to exclude NTDTV from a press event inside Canada’s Parliament Hill earlier this year.

NTDTV and The Epoch Times made headlines in the lead-up to the G-20 this June when a press conference with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chinese leader Hu Jintao failed to take place due to the regime’s insistence that both media outlets be prohibited from attending, a request the Parliamentary Press Gallery refused to accommodate.

Zhang said the information the consulate requested would have made it easier for the consulate to interfere and monitor his daily activities—something he didn’t want to facilitate.

“I think they just want to control everything of myself, including my work and everything … They want to control everything,” he said.

Zhang told the consulate worker handling his case that if they didn’t return his passport, he would contact the police. A supervisor there told him to go ahead, he said.

Zhang did contact police, but both the Toronto Police and RCMP told The Epoch Times they were at a loss for how to handle the situation.

“This is an unusual practice; this is not something that we have heard of,” said RCMP Const. Dave Banham, a media relations officer.

Banham surmised that the situation was due to a misunderstanding but could not offer any specific reason the police would not get involved, instead referring the matter to Passport Canada.

Passport Canada said Monday the document should be returned to the Canadian government.

“The Government of Canada remains the owner of all passports and if it has been seized it should be handed over to Passport Canada,” said Veronique Robitaille, spokesperson for Passport Canada.

Joel Chipkar, a spokersperson for the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, said the case was an example of the Chinese regime’s interference in Canada.

“The Chinese regime needs to understand that it is not the government of Chinese Canadians, and the Canadian government should make this point clear once and for all.”

Ms. Lantsman said the Canadian government has now provided Mr. Zhang a limited validity passport, which would allow him to travel “until the matter is resolved.”

The Chinese consulate did not answer repeated calls for comment.

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Human Rights, Journalist, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on Canada Calls on Chinese Embassy to Give Back Journalist’s Passport

China: Anger over attacks on journalists by officials and enterprises

Posted by Author on August 9, 2010


By Kathrin Hille in Beijing, The Financial Times, August 8 2010 –

A five centimetre-long scar on Fang Xuanchang’s shaved head tells of what happened to him six weeks ago.

Mr Fang, a science reporter, was attacked from behind by two men with metal bars on the night of June 24. The journalist believes the thugs were hired by a health-products marketer whom he portrayed as a quack in one of his stories.

The police have made no progress in identifying the attackers, and Mr Fang says none of several eyewitnesses has been questioned.

Violence against journalists in China is nothing new but recent conflicts between reporters and the companies they report on have triggered an angry debate about the confused roles of the media and state power.

“The traditional conflict pattern would be between the media and government, but now it becomes clear the real trigger is when certain people feel threatened in their personal interests,” says Zhao Li, deputy editor at Caijing, where Mr Fang now works. The magazine has long been a stronghold of investigative reporting in China.

Last month, police in a town in the coastal province of Zhejiang listed Qiu Ziming, a reporter for the Economic Observer, as one of the nation’s most wanted criminals after he accused Kan Specialty Materials, a local listed company, of financial irregularities.

A wave of online protests forced the police to cancel the wanted notice. However, they have not closed their investigation.

The same week, a journalist at the China Times was attacked following a story alleging illegal financial transactions at Shenzhen International Enterprise.

One day later, journalists working for National Business Daily were attacked by men identifying themselves as representatives of BaWang International, a shampoo maker that the newspaper had accused of selling products tainted with toxic chemicals.

“The fact that a company can enlist state authorities to fight its private battles highlights the core problem: our police and judiciary are not independent and there is widespread collusion between officials and enterprises,” says Mr Zhao.

He says local government officials and party cadres often order law enforcement organs or courts to act against media after reporters touch on their personal financial dealings.

Last month, a party official in charge of the local propaganda department in a town in Anhui province was convicted on corruption charges. Also in July, the party in Chongqing municipality began an investigation into allegations that its propaganda chief had acted as an intermediary for the local Hilton hotel in an argument over a negative media report.

However, the lines are less than clear-cut. China’s ruling Communist party traditionally sees the media’s main role as propaganda instruments. Career paths for journalists often involve crossing over into government or party jobs. Party propaganda officials have typically served as editors of state newspapers or broadcasters. Following the spread of market principles in China’s economy and the commercialisation of the media in particular, the lines have become similarly muddled between media and enterprise.

– The Financial Times: Anger over attacks on journalists in China

Posted in Businessman, China, corruption, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, Life, News, Official, People, Police, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China: Anger over attacks on journalists by officials and enterprises

China’s Besieged Journalists

Posted by Author on August 4, 2010


Wall Street Journal, Aug. 3, 2010 –

Practicing journalism in China is a hazardous business. The Committee to Protect Journalists’ annual report released last December lists 24 Chinese staff writers and free-lancers known to be in prison—more than in any other country. Then there is the daily grind of censorship, harassment and even violence designed to prevent reporters from exposing official or corporate wrongdoing.

So a recent case showing that the public supports the right to report and write freely offers a glimmer of hope. Qiu Ziming, a reporter for the Economic Observer newspaper, produced a series of stories in June accusing Zhejiang Kan Specialty Materials of insider trading and other offenses. The company’s friends in the local police retaliated by putting Mr. Qiu’s name on a national wanted list.

That got Mr. Qiu’s colleagues up in arms. They spread the news on the Internet, sparking a grassroots movement to support the reporter, who went into hiding. Eventually even state-controlled China Central Television was on his side, and the Zhejiang police were forced to withdraw the warrant and apologize to Mr. Qiu.

It’s encouraging that Chinese society affirmed the journalist’s role as a watchdog and the local government backed down. But it’s also an isolated case. The central government’s repression of independent reporting is only growing fiercer. On July 23, for example, a court in Xinjiang sentenced newspaper editor Gheyret Niyaz to 15 years in prison for “endangering state security.” His crime: granting an interview to a Hong Kong-based magazine about the riots in Urumqi last year.

Wall Street Journal

Posted in censorship, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, World | Comments Off on China’s Besieged Journalists

China stops journalist’s arrest after public outcry

Posted by Author on July 29, 2010


AFP, July 29, 2010 –

BEIJING — Police in eastern China on Thursday quashed an arrest order for a fugitive graft-busting journalist following a public outcry, in an apparent rare victory for media freedom.

Qiu Ziming had become a cause celebre after his investigative reports on alleged improprieties by a listed company landed him in a nationwide police most-wanted database on suspicion of slander.

Qiu, 28, a reporter with the Economic Observer financial weekly, has been on the run for days after police in Zhejiang province put out an arrest notice.

But in a sudden about-face, the Zhejiang government said Thursday that police in the province’s Suichang county who initiated the arrest order had been told to rescind it.

“The (provincial) Public Security Bureau has ordered the Suichang Public Security Bureau to withdraw the Qiu Ziming criminal detention decision and apologise to him,” a notice on the provincial news website said.

It said the detention order “did not meet statutory requirements”.

Qiu, who is based in the Economic Observer’s Shanghai bureau, published reports in June detailing alleged improprieties such as insider trading by a major battery manufacturer based in Zhejiang.

The company, Kan Specialties Material Corporation, based in Suichang and listed on the stock exchange of Shenzhen in southern China, has denied the charges and accused Qiu of slander, initiating the police action.

But Qiu has continued to defend his innocence and demand justice in defiant entries on his Weibo account, a Twitter-like service offered by leading portal Sina.com.

“What I reported is the truth,” Qiu said in an entry Wednesday, adding that he had “iron-clad” evidence of the company’s wrongdoing and did not fear police.

“This is not over. I will get an apology from the Suichang police,” he said.

China’s media is tightly controlled but gradually becoming more aggressive in exposing corporate and official malfeasance. However, particularly bold reporters who offend powerful forces risk being muzzled or even jailed.

Since going on the run several days ago, Qiu has garnered broad support on the Internet, with his Weibo account gaining 8,000 “followers” and his case generating sympathetic media coverage.

An online poll organised by Sina.com, which drew more than 33,000 responses, found that 86 percent of users viewed the police pursuit of Qiu as “unlawful” and that 98 percent trusted his reports on Kan Specialties.

The Economic Observer — an independent weekly newspaper considered one of the most respected financial publications in China — last month put out a bold statement defending Qiu and criticising authorities.

“We strongly condemn the use of public power to suppress and threaten the personal safety of media professionals,” it said.

Chinese Internet users have become a potent force in exposing official abuses and pressuring authorities to back down from some unpopular decisions.

AFP

Posted in China, corruption, East China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World, Zhejiang | 1 Comment »

Journalist on China police’s “most wanted criminals” list for accusing company of improprieties

Posted by Author on July 29, 2010


Reporters Without Borders, July 29, 2010 –

Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the action of the police in Suichang, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, in putting reporter Qiu Ziming of The Economic Observer weekly on the list of the country’s most wanted criminals because of allegations he made about a Suichang-based battery manufacturer, Kan Specialties Material Corporation.

Voicing strong support for Qiu and hailing his determination to stand by what he wrote and produce evidence to back his claims, Reporters Without Borders calls on the police to remove him from the list at once and drop all legal proceedings. Qiu is currently facing a possible two-year jail sentence.

“This is a journalist who adhered to his principles and did his duty as a reporter, and it is absurd to put him in the same category as wanted criminals,” the press freedom organisation said. “The government should heed the massive support that Chinese Internet users have expressed for Qiu since the police put him on the wanted list. There have been more than 2,000 posts about him.”

Qiu, who works for The Economic Observer’s Shanghai bureau, wrote several stories in June about the battery company’s alleged improprieties, including insider trading. After the company responded with a lawsuit, Qiu went into hiding, prompting the police to put him on the national wanted list.

Aged 28, Qiu is calling for justice to be rendered in the case. He says he does not fear the police and has proof of what he wrote. “This is not over, I will get an apology from the Suichang police,” he has written in his blog on Sina, one of the leading Chinese portals.

Of the 33,000 Internet users who responded to a poll on the Sina website, 86 per cent said they thought the manhunt launched by the police was “illegal.”

Commenting on the case, The Economic Observer, a widely respected business weekly, has condemned “the use of the police to repress a media professional.”

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in China, corruption, Economy, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Journalist on China police’s “most wanted criminals” list for accusing company of improprieties

Uyghur journalist and website editor sentenced to 15 years in jail for criticising China

Posted by Author on July 24, 2010


Reporters Without Borders, July 24, 2010-

Reporters Without Borders said it was outraged at the harshness of a 15-year prison sentence handed down today to journalist Gheyret Niyaz by a court in Urumqi, in Xinjiang province.

He was arrested in October 2009 following ethnic unrest in Xinjiang in July 2009 and found guilty of “threatening national security” after criticising Chinese official policy towards the Uyghurs, sending news about the riots to foreign journalists and contributing to a website accused of inciting violence.

“We are utterly astonished at the outcome of this trial,” the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “Gheyret Niyaz did indeed make some criticism of Chinese policy in his region, but he is neither a criminal nor a dissident. He is seen by Uyghurs based abroad as supporting China’s administration of Xinjiang and even shares some of the Chinese government’s views of the summer 2009 unrest.

“In giving him such a heavy sentence and imprisoning other journalists and netizens whose sole crime is to have spoken about these events, the Chinese authorities are not encouraging a negotiated solution. On the contrary, this shocking sentence shows that the authorities put control of news above the reconciliation process. Prisoners of opinion should be released and the verdict against Gheyret Niyaz quashed on appeal”, the organisation added.

Niyaz gave an interview to Hong Kong magazine Yazhou Zhoukan (www.yzzk.com), in July 2009 in which he supported the official version of events that implicated external agents in the rioting, saying that the Islamic Liberation Party, Hizb-ut-Tahrir al Islami, was behind them. He also claimed to have warned the authorities that things were getting out of hand. In the same article he raised the issue of economic inequalities in Xinjiang, as well as some aspects of the struggle against “separatism”.

He also contributed to the website Uighurbiz.cn, a bilingual forum on Uyghur life and culture that the government accused of inciting violence by posting news about clashes between Uyghurs and Han Chinese in another region of the country……. (more details from Reporters Without Borders)

Posted in China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, NW China, People, Politics, World, Xinjiang | Comments Off on Uyghur journalist and website editor sentenced to 15 years in jail for criticising China

China’s New regulations imposed on provincial and metropolitan news media pose threat to liberal press

Posted by Author on July 21, 2010


Reporters Without Borders, July 21, 2010 –

Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the impact on press freedom of new regulations that the Propaganda Department has imposed on China’s provincial and metropolitan news media.

“China has no press law, but the accumulation of draconian regulations has gradually created a legislative straitjacket for the media,” Reporters Without Borders said. “These new rules add to the laws on state secrets and subversion that have been used by the authorities many times to punish journalists.”

The press freedom organisation added: “We urge Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to have these new Propaganda Department directives cancelled or else they will be a permanent threat hanging over the liberal press and investigative journalists.”

Chinese journalists told Reporters Without Borders that under the latest restrictions imposed by the Propaganda Department:

1. Newspapers must stop exchanging articles with news media in other provinces. 2. Media based in metropolitan areas (Dushi Bao) are forbidden to do their own reporting on national or international stories or modify the coverage of these stories that the official media provide.

The Propaganda Department offices in four southern provinces and Beijing have called the editors of the main liberal news media directly to order. The international news sections of local newspapers in Hunan province have been carrying only the official news agency Xinhua’s dispatches since the start of the month. Several editors in Beijing, Guangdong and Shandong confirmed that they were going to stop exchanging articles with newspapers in other provinces.

According to the Hong Kong-based daily Ming Pao, the new regulations have been in place since 1 July 2010. It said officials are also insisting on an end to negative reporting about the police and judicial authorities. The new directives may have been prompted in part by the joint editorial published by 13 newspapers in March that led to Economic Observer deputy editor Zhang Hong’s dismissal (http://en.rsf.org/china-censorship-&#8230;).

The Communist Party Central Committee has since 2004 forbidden the media to practice yidi jiandu (inter-regional reporting). But the liberal press, especially newspapers in the southern provinces, continue to carry reports about sensitive issues in other regions. An expert on Chinese media said “the 2004 order from party leaders complicated the work of investigative journalists.”

A Beijing-based investigative reporter told Reporters Without Borders that, if applied rigorously, the new regulations would “kill all reports that are the least bit negative in the provincial newspapers.” He added: “Even if you doubt that the authorities will enforce these regulations to the letter, they will be able to use them to punish individual media. That puts the local newspapers in a position of weakness. Everything is being done to ensure that no scandals appear in newspapers in neighbouring regions.”

The leading regional newspapers such as Guangdong’s Nanfang Dushi Bao have few correspondents in other Chinese provinces and depend on exchanging news reports with other local media. “It is less risky to publish a sensitive story about an official in a neighbouring province than about those in our own province,” a Shanghai-based journalist said.

Around ten Chinese media, including the business magazines China Economic Times and Business Watch, were recently sanctioned for reports they had published (http://en.rsf.org/china-space-of-sa&#8230;).

In response to an increase in social unrest, the central government has embarked on new phase of news control. Internet censorship has been stepped up at the behest of Wang Chen, the head of the government’s Information Office (http://en.rsf.org/china-authorities&#8230;), while the official media, including the news agency Xinhua, have been told to increase their international presence into order to get the “Chinese version” across.

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in China, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Media, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on China’s New regulations imposed on provincial and metropolitan news media pose threat to liberal press

Free journalists and netizens held by China for referring to 1989 Tiananmen massacre

Posted by Author on June 4, 2010


Reporters Without Borders, Jun 3, 2010 –

On the eve of the 21st anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre
, Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate release of the journalists and netizens who have been jailed for referring to this dark page in China’s history. It also calls for an end to the censorship of both traditional and online media that want to tackle this subject and challenge the official version.

Shi Tao of the daily Dangdai Shang Bao (Contemporary Business News) is one of the journalists who are being held. He was convicted of “illegally divulging state secrets abroad” on 30 April 2005 and was sentenced 10 years in prison. The details of the verdict showed that Yahoo!’s Hong Kong subsidiary provided the Chinese police with information that helped get him convicted.

According to the authorities, Shi’s crime was to have forwarded a government directive about the 15th Tiananmen Square anniversary to a friend based abroad. The note, which was sent to the newspaper, warned journalists of the dangers of social destabilisation and the risks that could result from the return of certain dissidents.

Chinese state security officials insisted during the trial that the directive was “Jue Mi” (top secret). Shi admitted to passing it on to someone else by email but disputed that it was a secret document. The conditions in which he is being held are very harsh.

Sun Fuquan, a journalist from Shenyang (in the province of Liaoning), is serving a sentence of 21 months of forced labour for posting information about the events of 1989 online. He was convicted of “inciting subversion of state authority” and “dividing the country.”

Zhang Huaiyang, a cyber-dissident from the same city, was sentenced to 18 months of forced labour last year for asking on the Internet whether activists intended to gather in Tiananmen Square to mark the anniversary of the massacre. The authorities said he was guilty of “inciting unrest and endangering national security.”

In a report released in June 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, Reporters Without Borders detailed the methods used by the authorities to maintain a veil of silence over the massacre. The policy has not changed. It is still impossible for the Chinese press and Internet users to refer freely to this subject. Between 400 and 500 keywords linked to the events of 4 June 1989 are censored online.

A cartoon apparently alluding to 4 June 1989 was published two days ago in the newspaper Nanfang Dushi Bao (Southern Metropolitan Daily) and was posted on its website. But it was soon withdrawn from the site, along with the comments it had prompted. It showed a child drawing tanks and a figure resembling a soldier on a blackboard. The censoring of the cartoon shows that the authorities tolerate absolutely no reference to 4 June 1989, no matter how indirect.

Reporters Without Borders is outraged by the government’s treatment of Liu Xiaobo, a prominent dissident and intellectual who took part in the 1989 demonstrations. Sentenced to 11 years in prison last December for helping to draft Charter 08, an appeal for more freedom in China (http://en.rsf.org/china-court-upholds-11-year-prison-10-02-2010,35507.html), Liu was transferred on 24 May from Beijing detention centre No. 1 to Jinzhou prison in the northeastern province of Liaoning, more than 800 km from the capital, where his family lives.

Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, was not told of the transfer until 30 May. She finally obtained permission to visit him but the journey will take her 12 hours each way.

Reporters Without Borders

Posted in Beijing, China, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, World, writer | 1 Comment »

Two Imprisoned Chinese Democracy Activists Gravely Ill, Require Immediate Medical Parole

Posted by Author on May 6, 2010


Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that political prisoners Zhang Jianhong (张建红) (also known by his pen name, Li Hong [力虹]) and Yang Tianshui (杨天水) are in extremely critical medical condition.

HRIC urges the prison authorities where Zhang and Yang are respectively held, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, to grant immediate medical parole to the prisoners on humanitarian grounds so that they may receive the proper care that they desperately require. HRIC also appeals to the international community to closely monitor the prisoners’ conditions and join the call for their release.

Zhang Jianhong (张建红), a.k.a. Li Hong (力虹)

Zhang is a 52-year-old writer and poet who has authored a number of essays calling for democratic reform. For his role in the 1989 Democracy Movement, Zhang served 18 months of Reeducation-Through-Labor for engaging in “counter-revolutionary propaganda.” More recently, on September 4, 2006, Zhang authored “Olympicgate,” an article criticizing the government’s human rights record in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympics [《活摘门方兴未艾,“奥运门”又将开启》]. As a result, on March 19, 2007, Zhang was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” and sentenced to six years in prison and an additional two years of deprivation of political rights. He is currently being held at the General Prison Hospital of Zhejiang Province in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, and is scheduled for release on September 5, 2012.

Zhang suffers from advanced-stage muscular dystrophy and his condition has rapidly deteriorated over the past several months. Although the prison doctor who diagnosed Zhang stated that his illness was serious enough to qualify for medical parole, a full four months passed before Zhang was sent to the prison hospital for treatment. Officials have rejected repeated requests for medical parole by Zhang’s family and have refused to grant permission to seek treatment outside of prison facilities.

According to a May 3, 2010, report by China Free Press (Canyu), Zhang’s daughter said that when she saw her father on April 25, during the latest monthly family visit, he could no longer take food by mouth and was being sustained through intravenous feeding. He was no longer able to get up from the hospital bed and could barely talk. She said that Zhang only spoke a few sentences, mainly about what the family should do after his death. Zhang’s daughter said that the family wishes to have Zhang undergo a thorough medical evaluation outside the prison system in order to determine whether treatments are still an option, and if not, to at least provide comfort to him at home and be with him during his last days.

Yang Tianshui (杨天水)

Yang, 48, is a prolific author of essays and articles calling for democratic reform and accountability for human rights abuses. Yang previously served a ten-year prison sentence for organizing “counter-revolutionary activities” related to his involvement in the 1989 Democracy Movement. From 2002 to 2005, Yang published a number of essays on overseas Internet websites, for which he was detained, arrested, and on May 17, 2006, convicted of “subversion of state power.” Yang was then sentenced to 12 years in prison and an additional four years of deprivation of political rights. He is currently serving his sentence at Nanjing Prison in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, and is scheduled for release on December 22, 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Dissident, Human Rights, Li Hong, News, People, Politics, World | Comments Off on Two Imprisoned Chinese Democracy Activists Gravely Ill, Require Immediate Medical Parole

China’s foreign journalists club shuts down website after repeated cyber attacks

Posted by Author on April 2, 2010


AFP, Apr. 2, 2010-

BEIJING — China’s foreign journalists association said Friday it had taken its website offline after it was targeted in repeated denial-of-service attacks.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said it did not know who was behind the attacks but that they originated from Internet addresses in both China and the United States.

However, it noted the “physical location of the servers does not tell us much since hackers can use any machine they have been able to exploit.”

The statement said the club, regarded by the Chinese government as an illegal organisation, “has been the target of persistent denial-of-service attacks.”

“We have taken the site down temporarily while we work to sort out the problem,” it said.

A denial-of-service attack floods a network with so many requests that normal traffic is slowed down or completely interrupted.

The move comes after Google re-routed traffic from its Chinese-language search engine to an uncensored site in Hong Kong over state web censorship and cyberattacks on Gmail accounts it said originated in China.

There also have been mounting allegations overseas, including by the US government, that China is ramping up its global cyber-espionage activities and has become a key source of world cyber-attacks — a claim denied by Beijing.

The FCCC said on Wednesday that the Yahoo! email accounts of foreign journalists based in China and Taiwan had been targeted in hacking attacks.

“In one instance, a Beijing-based journalist?s account had an unknown forwarding address added, sending all the journalist?s messages to an unknown recipient,” it said in a notice to members, adding that it had confirmed eight cases.

AFP

Posted in Beijing, China, cyber attack, Freedom of Information, Freedom of Speech, hacking, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, News, People, Politics, Social, Software, Technology, website, World | Comments Off on China’s foreign journalists club shuts down website after repeated cyber attacks