World News

    Chinese Media Report Growing Concern About Detained Journalist

    Chinese state media have reported growing concern about the fate of a journalist detained by police in southern China last week for his reporting of alleged corruption at a state-owned company.

    Chen Youngzhou disappeared last Friday in Guangzhou, where he had written a dozen articles for the New Express newspaper, criticizing the Zoomlion construction company. Zoomlion is based in the south-central Chinese city of Changsha.

    Chinese media said police from Changsha detained Chen in Guangzhou on suspicion of damaging the reputation of a business. His whereabouts are unknown.

    In reports published Thursday, official news agencies said the Chinese government's media regulator expressed "concern" about the fate of the journalist. The General Association of Press and Publishing (GAPP) said it "firmly supports the media conducting normal reporting activities ... and firmly protects the legal rights of journalists."

    Official news agencies also said the central government-backed All China Journalists Association called for the police to handle Chen's case "according to the law, guarantee the journalist's safety and prevent extorting confessions by torture."



    In a rare protest against Chinese authorities, the New Express published a front-page message about Chen on Wednesday, saying in large characters "Release Him Please." It followed up on Thursday with a similar front-page plea, saying "Again We Ask For His Release."

    The U.S. government's Open Source Center says the tabloid's headline immediately drew attention from Chinese Internet users and became a hot topic on China-based microblogs.

    The chief editor of respected Chinese financial magazine Caijing posted a message on Sina Weibo calling Chen's arrest "arbitrary" and saying it creates "fear" among fellow media workers.

    He Gang also asked if a reporter from state television network CCTV ought to be arrested for allegedly damaging the reputation of international coffee chain Starbucks. CCTV had been criticizing what it calls the "unreasonably pricey" coffee sold by Starbucks in China since October 20.

    Chen's reports in the New Express claimed Zoomlion artificially inflated its profits, which the company said amounted to $7.6 billion last year.

    Zoomlion is listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock exchanges. Since Chen's arrest began making international headlines Wednesday, Zoomlion's shares fell nearly 6 percent.

    Chinese police have told state media that Chen fabricated facts about Zoomlion's finances in the stories, which were written between September of last year and August, 2013. The paper says it investigated Chen's reporting and only found one minor factual flaw.

    Since Chinese newspapers are subject to state censorship, explicit protests against government policies are usual.

    A New Express worker contacted by VOA said all employees were told not to speak with foreign news media, for their own safety. The employee declined to be identified or to provide any further details.

    A Thursday editorial in the Global Times, the Communist Party's official mouthpiece, called for Chen's case to be dealt with "according to the law," but stressed that the key issue is whether his report was accurate.

    A separate report in the Times, which often reflects government viewpoints, quoted analysts who defended Chen, arguing that even articles with mistaken facts should be protected by the law.

    In another high-profile media rights case earlier this year, staff at the relatively outspoken Southern Weekly newspaper in Guangzhou went on a weekl-ong strike to protest government censorship.

    That incident grew into a nationwide online protest against China's strict media censorship, with celebrities and other public figures speaking out in support of the newspaper.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to end widespread corruption in the ruling Communist Party.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora