10/07/2018
 

Press Freedom in China Bulletin: JULY

Pro-Beijing demonstrators hold a counter-rally at a protest march in Hong Kong on July 1, 2018, to coincide with the 21st anniversary of the city's handover from British to Chinese rule.

Categorie:

Asia Pacific, News, News, News, ASIA PACIFIC, Campaigns, Reports, Events, Meeting, Workshop

Welcome to IFJ Asia-Pacific’s monthly Press Freedom in China Campaign e-bulletin. The next bulletin will be sent on August 8, 2018.

To contribute news or information, email ifj(at)ifj-asia(dot)org. To visit the IFJ’s China Campaign page, go to http://www.ifj.org/regions/asia-pacific/

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In this bulletin:

1)      US-China trade war sees language changes in reporting

2)      Commentary over US-North Korea Summit controlled

3)      Information and news restricted and controlled:

4)      Qinghai Daily News party secretary expelled

5)      Investigation clears HK police over journalist attack

6)      HK Chief Executive apologises to media

7)      HK Chief Executive slams disrespectful protest slogans

8)      HKJA said national anthem law ‘unconstitutional’

 

1)      US-China trade war sees language changes in reporting

With the ongoing trade war between the USA and China, media have noticed that the use of the term ‘China Manufactured 2025’ has significantly declined and even disappeared in Mainland state media reporting. According to wisenews, an online search engine, ‘China Manufactured 2025’ use in the media has significantly declined in May, in comparison to the first four months of 2018.

Many reporters believe that the decline in the use of the term is due to the trade war between the USA and China.

2)      Commentary over US-North Korea Summit controlled

On June 12, the Summit of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was held in Singapore. However, media in China was restricted on social media, and comments sections were closed on news websites. According to several bloggers, any negatives comments on social media channels were blocked. While Radio Free Asia reported that the comments sections of several websites include Wall Street Journal and Chinese media including Global Times and the Paper were suspended.

3)      Information and news restricted and controlled:

a)    On June 28, two primary school students were killed in Shanghai. According to locals, the local authority ordered the media to downplay the incident, and eventually banned all reporting. According to Radio Free Asia, the local authorities even banned people from organising a memorial events out the Shanghai World Foreign Language School, where the two students were killed.

b)   In June, several booked, published in Mainland China were removed from bookstores. According to Ming Pao Daily, a Beijing independent bookstore was ordered to remove several books, including books about the history of China’s reform, the Bible, the Quran, as well as books by political author Hannah Arendt. It remains unclear why the books were removed.

4)      Qinghai Daily News party secretary expelled

According to reports, Zhang Wei, 53, was expelled from the Communist Party of China due to ‘disciplinary violations’. Zhang was serving as the party secretary at the Qinghai Daily News newspaper at the time of his expulsion. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement that Zhang ‘opposed censorship and illegally kept secret party work documents in his possession’. Zhang was also accused of ‘violating discipline in his personal life’. The statement also said that Zhang’s case had been transferred to the police department for further criminal investigation. Zhang’s expulsion was strongly criticised, with some experts arguing that as the party secretary of course he would be expected to have party documents in his possession.

5)      Investigation clears HK police over journalist attack

After more than a two and a half year investigation, a Ming Pao Daily journalist was told that his complaint of assault against several Hong Kong police officers was inconclusive and rejected. Tang, a journalist with Ming Pao Daily was reporting from the upper deck of a bus in Mong Kok during riots on February 9, 2016. Tang said that he was grabbed by two or three officers around the throat and dragged off the bus. He was then kicked and hit. The assault was filmed by an Apple Daily journalist, which was subsequently published. The Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) told Tang that ‘some of the evidence was inconclusive’. CAPO said regarding the complaint that he was grabbed by the throat by officers, this was ‘not pursuable’ as the police could not be identified. The final complaint, that the police failed to cooperate with the press was also rejected. The ruling by CAPO was also accepted by the Independent Police Complaints Council, the watchdog for the police force.

6)      HK Chief Executive apologises to media

On 3 July, the Chief Executive Carrie Lam said she was sick of "wasting time" speaking to reporters in English when she has often already said what she wanted to say in Cantonese. The comments came after a journalist from the English channel at Radio Television of Hong Kong (RTHK) asked a question. There was immediate outcry, including from IFJ affiliate Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) that criticised Lam.

Chris Yeung, Chairperson of Hong Kong Journalists Association, said Lam’s remarks are ‘an embarrassment’. Later that evening, Lam issued an apology for ‘causing confusion’ over her comments and said that ‘there is no question of the Government of myself viewing the use of English as less important’. 

7)      HK Chief Executive slams disrespectful protest slogans

Following anti-China political rallies on July 1, marking 21 years since the Handover, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam issued a statement criticising the protesters. During the rallies, protesters chanted ‘an end to one-party dictatorship’ and ‘reject the deterioration of Hong Kong’. Lam said that the government had a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to anything that goes against China’s ruling Communist Party during the anniversary celebrations. The Hong Kong Government said in a statement that ‘chanting slogans which disrespect ‘one country’ and disregard the constitutional order, or which are sensational and misleading are not in live with Hong Kong’s overall interests and would undermine its development’.

8)      HKJA said national anthem law ‘unconstitutional’

The Hong Kong Journalists Association warned the draft national anthem law in Hong Kong is ‘unconstitutional and will lead to a chilling effect upon free speech”. The HKJA worries the anthem law will suppress free speech. In addition to that HKJA said the current bill was contrary to the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s constitution, because ‘the Hong Kong’s bill was even stricter than its Mainland counterpart, as it carries a maximum penalty of an HK 50,000 fine and up to three years imprisonment.” HKJA submitted a position paper to the Hong Kong Government at the end of the relevant law’s consultation period.    

IFJ Asia-Pacific

http://www.ifj.org/regions/asia-pacific/

Ifj(at)ifj-asia(dot)org

 

 

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