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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

SpaceX On Its Way to ISS

Cargo ship carries supplies, experiments supplies including first 3-D printer, for International Space Station 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid