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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid