The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is appalled
at increasing restrictions on journalists reporting in China in recent weeks.
A Chinese journalist who wishes to remain anonymous told the
IFJ that the Central Propaganda Department issued a series of orders banning
reporting on certain issues, particularly in relation to business and foreign
The journalist listed the following incidences where reporting
on significant issues was blocked due to government censorship:
- On March 6, all media were ordered not to follow up the case of a former Communist Party chief and deputy director of the Shenzhen Maritime Safety Administration, Lin Jiaxiang, who was sacked for alleged drunken behaviour and child molestation.
- On March 7, journalists were ordered not to report on comments by some members of the National People’s Congress about a possible ban by China on poultry imports from the United States.
- On March 9, the Central Propaganda Department banned reporting on a decision by the Supreme People’s Court to review a four-year-old plagiarism case against Zhou Yezhong, a prominent law professor of Wuhan University. The ban is similar to restrictions when the case was first brought to court in 2006. At that time, the Central Propaganda Department fined editors thousands of yuen for ignoring the ban.
- On March 13, 21st Century Business Herald was ordered to remove an article about financial dealings between tycoon Wang Guoju and Hong Kong listed company China Energy Development Holdings Ltd.
The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP)
also announced that all publishers must submit the real names of authors and books
in order to obtain a licence to publish. The regulation is to be enforced from April
1, but a book written by Cai Tianyi under the pen name Cai Chu reportedly has been
Cai told the IFJ he believes the ban is related to his
participation in “Charter 08”, a 2008 signature campaign for the promotion of
political reform and democratisation of China and a preamble in his book
written by Liu Xiaobo, who was under surveillance by security agencies after he
signed the charter.
“These restrictions on reporting in China amount to government censorship,”
IFJ General Secretary Aidan White
“The increasingly heavy and frequent restrictions on the media take China a
step backward in terms of transparency of governance and protection of the
The IFJ reiterates its appeal to China’s Central Government to show good faith and refrain from
restricting journalists and the media, in line with China’s claim to be
“opening up to the outside world”.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide