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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs