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

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More