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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid