News / Asia

China Tightens Restrictions on Foreign Journalists

Front of the Great Hall of the People after the opening session of the National People's Congress in Beijing, China, March 5, 2011
Front of the Great Hall of the People after the opening session of the National People's Congress in Beijing, China, March 5, 2011

Chinese authorities are tightening controls on foreign journalists, following the third week of calls for protests to show solidarity with the Jasmine Revolutions in the Middle East. Although there was no apparent demonstration last week, foreign journalists at the scene were harassed. 

Tight security in Beijing is a regular feature of the annual legislative session of the National People’s Congress.

The situation this year has been made more complicated by online calls for Chinese citizens to protest injustice at home and to show solidarity with the so-called "Jasmine Revolutions" sweeping the Middle East.

Sunday was to have been the third consecutive week that anonymous organizers called for Chinese to come out to designated demonstration sites in cities around the country. But there have been no immediate reports of any major incidents.

Last week, Chinese policemen and foreign journalists outnumbered obvious protesters at the designated Beijing site, Wangfujing Street.  There was no apparent protest, yet unidentified men beat or physically harassed foreign journalists at the scene.

This Sunday, Chinese authorities tried to prevent a repeat of those incidents by persuading foreign journalists not to go there. Many reporters were warned they would be expelled from the country if they were caught breaking the law.

The Beijing city government called a news conference Sunday afternoon, at exactly the same time as the would-be demonstration.

Beijing officials echoed central government authorities, in denying that there are changes to formal State Council rules governing journalist activities.

But Li Honghai, with the Beijing Foreign Affairs office, said a booklet distributed at the briefing shows how the city’s laws, in his words, "build on" the State Council’s laws.

Li says Beijing’s policy is that foreign correspondents who want to do reporting in downtown Beijing need to first apply to city authorities for permission.

Authorities did not grant permission to any foreign news organization for any reporting from Wangfujing this Sunday.

Beijing’s spokeswoman, Wang Hui, says stability is the paramount concern. She also responded to questions about the beating of an American journalist last Sunday.

Wang says the incident was reported to the police, who are treating the issue with what she described as "full seriousness" and are conducting an investigation.  

At the same time, she did not address a question about how this kind of violence could have happened in broad daylight, in a public place in downtown Beijing, with so many policemen around.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid