News / Asia

    Chinese Newspaper Issues Second Plea for Reporter's Release

    FILE - A Chinese visa applicant reads a Beijing newspaper as he waits outside the U.S. Embassy compound.
    FILE - A Chinese visa applicant reads a Beijing newspaper as he waits outside the U.S. Embassy compound.
    VOA News
    A Chinese newspaper has issued its second front page plea in as many days calling for the release of one of its journalists, who was arrested for exposing alleged corruption at a state-owned company.
     
    Chen Youngzhou is being held on charges of "damaging the reputation of a business" after writing a series of reports in the New Express tabloid claiming the Zoomlion construction company artificially inflated its profits.
     
    Zoomlion, which is listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock exchanges, reported $7.6 billion in profits last year. Since Chen's arrest began making international headlines on Wednesday, Zoomlion's shares have fallen nearly 6 percent.
     
    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. Few other details have been given on the charges. The paper says it has investigated the reporting and found only one minor factual flaw.
     
    The case has threatened to become a wider concern for authorities; many Chinese Internet users have expressed sympathy for Chen. The official Global Times said Thursday the publicity department of the Communist Party's powerful Central Committee and its main anti-corruption body are now involved in the case.
     
    In a rare protest against government policies, the New Express published a sharply worded editorial on Wednesday, slamming police for arresting Chen and claiming there was no evidence he committed a crime.
     
    The small paper, located in the southern city of Guangzhou, continued its protest on Thursday with a large headline stating: "Again We Ask For His Release." The article said the case should be handled under the law and that journalists should not be detained without charges first being laid out.
     
    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.
     
    Meanwhile, Chinese state media called Chen's detention a test of the media's role in China.
     
    An editorial in the Global Times, the Communist Party's official mouthpiece, on Thursday 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.
     
    This is not the first time that New Express articles have aroused controversy. Another of its reporters was arrested earlier this year after calling for an official investigation of the activities of a senior government official in the megacity of Chongqing, in southwestern China.
     
    President Xi Jinping has vowed to end widespread corruption in the ruling Communist Party, but he is also seen as a leader of those who want to arrest and prosecute any individual involved in exposing official corruption.
     
    A recently enacted party rule calls for up to three years' imprisonment for Internet users whose "defamatory" messages are widely reposted online.
     
    Since Chinese newspapers are tightly controlled by the state, explicit protests against government policies are rare.
     
    In one case earlier this year, staff at the relatively outspoken Southern Weekly newspaper in Guangzhou went on a weeklong 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.
     
    This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin service.
     

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora