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Sir Rols

China Press Restrictions

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BEIJING, Sept 12, 2006 (AFP) - China denied Tuesday that regulations targetting foreign news organizations were a threat to press freedom ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The foreign ministry said rules cracking down on the distribution of foreign news inside China did not run counter to Beijing's pledge to offer unfettered access to thousands of foreign journalists who will travel here for the Games.

``With the Olympic Games approaching, there will be more journalists coming to China to report,'' said spokesman Qin Gang.

``We are open to their visits. We want to create a favorable environment and provide facilitation. We have done this in the past and we will do this in the future.''

When bidding to win the right to host the Olymppics in 2001, Beijing promised to allow journalists to report freely in the the run-up to and during the Games.

However, concern has grown in recent months following a crackdown on human rights activists and tightening of media controls that has seen news outlets shut down and journalists arrested or demoted.

On Sunday, state-controlled Xinhua news agency issued regulations restricting foreign media from distributing stories deemed by the government to be harmful to China.

It also issued measures giving Xinhua the sole right to distribute and release all foreign news content inside China.

Analysts said the curbs on content were nothing new and the measures appeared to be aimed at strengthening Xinhua's business monopoly on foreign news distribution.

``These regulations do not cover the reporting of foreign journalists in China during the Olympic Games, therefore it does not run counter to the commitment of the Chinese governement in the bidding of the Olympic Games,'' Qin told a regular briefing.

Xinhua already holds sole distribution rights for foreign news agencies in China and the measueres closed a loophole that had allowed them to directly supply clients with financial and economic news.

AFP

I can see this whole issue of press freedoms becoming the big issue in the lead-up to the games. I just don't know if the Chinese realise how much scrutiny their society is going to be under by the world press in the lead-up.

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I can see this whole issue of press freedoms becoming the big issue in the lead-up to the games. I just don't know if the Chinese realise how much scrutiny their society is going to be under by the world press in the lead-up.

yea i agree this will become a big issue in the lead up to the games! This issue has always been there but i think that the closer to the games we get the more coverage this issue will get.

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It was always going to be an issue the closer to the Games we get. The Chinese authorities can issue whatever regulations they like. It will not stop journalists getting out and about and reporting the truth.

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It was always going to be an issue the closer to the Games we get. The Chinese authorities can issue whatever regulations they like. It will not stop journalists getting out and about and reporting the truth.

exactly

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Well a Tibetian and Falungong member may be a consenting interviewee. Will they allow that?

Actually, the new president of China is an interestng man. He knows how to use capitalism more than any of the previous leaders. Wonder what he has up his sleeves to counter all these. Perhaps, money again ;)

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Well, well. Are the Olympics going to produce the kinds of changes in Chinese society that backers of Beijing hosting at the outset said they would? There's an awful long way to go, but that noise is certainly promising.

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Well, well. Are the Olympics going to produce the kinds of changes in Chinese society that backers of Beijing hosting at the outset said they would? There's an awful long way to go, but that noise is certainly promising.

Unfortunately, nothing of that nature can be that simple nowadays. If you were to go to another topic here and see what may come after Beijing 2008 in one of my other posts, then it is still very up in the air.

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Hmm. An interesting mix here.

Link: BBC: China's Mixed Media Messages

I think it has already become an issue. Nearly a year out from the games, Athens was a buzz - with criticism, praise, progress reports (or lack of), continual reassurance from ATHOC, political scrutiny, venue updates etc etc. Comparitively, from Beijing we have heard squat.

I'm not sure whether it's because the largest country to host an Olympics is guaranteed success, no one is really interested or wether we are getting internal censorship..

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I think it has already become an issue. Nearly a year out from the games, Athens was a buzz - with criticism, praise, progress reports (or lack of), continual reassurance from ATHOC, political scrutiny, venue updates etc etc. Comparitively, from Beijing we have heard squat.

I'm not sure whether it's because the largest country to host an Olympics is guaranteed success, no one is really interested or wether we are getting internal censorship..

I'm sure Tony Blair is beginning to wish the British media were a little more like their Chinese counterparts with regards to Olympic preparations. :lol:

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