News / Asia

China Blames Protest Clashes on Foreign Media

Chinese policemen ask an Associated Press cameraman to leave the area near the shopping area on Wangfujing Street in Beijing, Feb. 27, 2011.
Chinese policemen ask an Associated Press cameraman to leave the area near the shopping area on Wangfujing Street in Beijing, Feb. 27, 2011.

China has blamed international reporters for the clashes with plainclothes and uniformed police officers, following online calls for peaceful democracy protests in two major cities, Sunday.  Some journalists reporting from China now fear a media crackdown. 

Foreign journalists based in China fear the government is backtracking on media freedoms introduced three years ago, for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.  Their concern follows a series of attacks on more than a dozen foreign correspondents sent to cover pro-democracy protests at the weekend in 35 cities, including the capital Beijing and Shanghai.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu refuted claims journalists suffered unprovoked assaults by plainclothes gangs of men and said police and other security forces acted lawfully.

During a 90-minute media briefing, in which she was quizzed repeatedly to explain the violent conduct of the security forces, Jiang advised journalists to follow the country's reporting laws.  She denies rules have been changed since new one laws were introduced for the Beijing Olympics.

And, she was adamant that police had done their job properly, saying foreign journalists should report any alleged assaults to the local police bureaus.

One American journalist needed hospital treatment after being badly beaten by five unidentifiable men in busy Beijing shopping area, close to Tiananmen Square.

Jiang said local police who organized the security would investigate the incident, as she put it, according to law.

Other reporters were also roughed up or detained.

Some had their film footage or photos forcibly deleted by men who would not identify themselves.

VOA Beijing Bureau chief Stephanie Ho had to be rescued from a gang of men who pushed her into a shop. 

Film footage and photos used in international news reports about the beatings show groups of men attacking journalists, as uniformed officers looked on.  

American Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and those from the European Union and Japan have issued statements condemning the violence and calling on Beijing to protect foreign journalists.

The reporting rules introduced before the 2008 Olympics allowed foreign media to freely interview Chinese people, so long as they have their consent.

The laws also eased travel restrictions, except to sensitive areas like Tibet.

Many of Jiang's  answers about reporting seemed vague.

But she said journalists must now seek permission to report from popular landmarks in Shanghai and Beijing.

The violence and tighter restrictions follow anonymous online calls, two weeks in a row, for peaceful protests.

The economy has boomed for 20 years in China.  There is not the same level of discontent as that which sparked rebellion against one-party rule in several Middle East countries.  

China is spending millions of dollars on a public relations campaign to enhance its image in the eyes of the world, as it emerges as an economic and influential superpower.

Jiang was asked if the photos and film footage of Sunday's incidents -- described by many journalists as thuggery -- had had a negative impact on China's image. She refused to answer.



You May Like

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


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