News / Asia

    Beijing Critic Says Family Detained in China in Internet Crackdown

    FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping, pictured at a news conference in Tehran, Jan. 23, 2016, has mounted a widespread effort to censor Internet coverage in China to eliminate opinions that differ from those of Communist Party leaders.
    FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping, pictured at a news conference in Tehran, Jan. 23, 2016, has mounted a widespread effort to censor Internet coverage in China to eliminate opinions that differ from those of Communist Party leaders.
    VOA News

    A prominent Chinese Internet activist living in New York says authorities have detained three members of his family in southern China in a push to find the author of an open letter calling for the resignation of President Xi Jinping.

    Wen Yunchao said Friday that his parents and younger brother had been missing since Tuesday, days after he said the government harassed his family over his suspected role in circulating the letter. Wen, a vocal critic of Beijing, has denied involvement in the letter, saying he linked to it on his Twitter account only after it had been published in China.

    The open letter was posted by Wujie News on March 4, the first day of annual meetings of top Chinese officials. In it, Xi is blamed for "unprecedented problems" in China, with calls for him to step down immediately.

    A second Chinese reporter, freelance writer Jia Jia, was reported to have been taken into custody Tuesday at an airport in Beijing as he tried to board a flight to Hong Kong. His lawyer told Western news agencies that police "took away" the columnist after he warned other reporters against republishing the letter.  

    Late Friday, however, the lawyer confirmed that Jia had been released, according to The Associated Press.

    Two top editors and two other technicians from the website were also reported in custody.

    Authorities still looking

    Analysts said the widening police probe suggested that investigators had not yet pinpointed the source of the letter and were under pressure to do so.

    The letter was signed by "Loyal Communist Party Members" and was widely circulated by email.

    Analysts said Wujie, which began operations in September 2015, was designed to report on Xi's economic plan to increase Chinese investment and trade in Asia and Europe.  

    Academic Qiao Mu, from Beijing's Foreign Studies University, told The New York Times that Wujie's future and that of its 100 employees remained uncertain.

    Xi has mounted a widespread effort to censor Internet coverage in China to eliminate opinions that differ from those of Communist Party leaders. The crackdown has resulted in harsher penalties for those writers and editors found to have spread what the government calls rumors.

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    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    March 27, 2016 10:36 AM
    What is the Chinese government most afraid of? The truth? Yes that's it, the truth. And now between the internet and the collapse of America's scheme to manufacture its most tedious and filthiest products in China while American corps got most of the money and China got a lot of crumbs, the party is coming to an end. Chinese people, can you hear me? Can you read this? Things are going to get a lot worse....before they get even worse. How will they ever get better? I have no idea. China contributed practically nothing to its success. It just opened the door to foreigners and let them do the work because it was cheaper there. That's no longer the case. Good-bye China. BTW, China cannot defend the Spratly Islands from the US military. Most of China's military threats are empty.

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