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  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:45am
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PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2013, 2:53pm

Beijing says party’s control of press ‘unshakable’ after Southern Weekly protest

BIO

Amy Li began her journalism career as a crime news reporter in Queens, New York, in 2004. She joined Reuters in Beijing in 2008 as a multimedia editor. Amy taught journalism at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu before joining SCMP in Hong Kong in 2012. She is now an online news editor for SCMP.com. Amy can be reached at chunxiao.li@scmp.com, or follow her on Twitter @AmyLiSCMP
 

China’s top propaganda organ has sent out an urgent memo stressing that the Communist Party still had “absolute control” of the press in China – and this would not change, sources said on Tuesday.

In the memo, sent on Monday to party chiefs and media officials, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee said it had reached three conclusions over the recent censorship row at Southern Weekly. These are:

“The party has absolute control of China’s media. This basic principle is unshakable,” it said.

“The Southern Weekly publishing incident has nothing to do with Guangdong province’s propaganda chief, comrade Tuo Zhen.”

“Hostile foreign forces had interfered in the Southern Weekly incident,” the memo added.

These three points have been confirmed by a senior editor at a Beijing newspaper and an editor at a Guangzhou newspaper.

The memo requires officials to continue to prevent editors and journalists from expressing online support for Southern Weekly. It also asked newspapers to print an editorial published by the state-run newspaper, the Global Times.

The harsh editorial claimed China did not have the ‘social infrastructure’ to support a free press.

“Because of China’s social and political realities, the press freedoms asked by these people simply don’t exist,” read the editorial.

“Media reform is only part of China’s large reforms, and it will never become a special area,” it added.

The editorial also accused bloggers of pretending to be Southern Weekly staff and spreading false information online. Hundreds of supporters of the outspoken newspaper protested outside its Guangzhou headquarters on Monday.

They pledged their support for the staff in their dispute with provincial propaganda authorities. The paper’s editorial staff wants an independent team to investigate the matter.

As confirmed by SCMP.com, newspapers which published the Global Times editorial include: Guangzhou Information Times, Guangzhou-based New Express Daily, Beijing Youth Daily, Beijing Times, Hangzhou-based City Express, Shenzhen-based Daily Sunshine, Xi'an-based Sanqin Daily, Xi'an Evening News, and China Business News.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

newgalileo
That is a bad omen for all the expectations that things might change. The government continues to consider Chinese people as too ignorant and treat them like small kids in a kindergarten. What "external forces" are they talking about? CIA, Taliban, or? Obviously officials think Chinese are too stupid to think on their own.
superdx
Those hostile foreign forces sure are scary
SCARY!
niannian214
There reforms is not gonna happen in China for now .
 
 
 
 
 

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