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Australian journalist Matthew Carney, former head of the ABC’s China bureau, has said he and his family were subjected to threats and interrogation in 2018. Photo: Handout

Letters | When China targets foreign reporters, it hurts its own image

  • If the Chinese government wants to hide its perceived flaws, suppressing foreign media is hardly the way to go about it as this can easily have the opposite effect
I’m writing in response to your September 22 report titled “ Journalist breaks his silence over China exit”.
At a time when the flow of information is unimaginably seamless and fast, the Chinese government should really raise its game, as the Great Firewall would eventually crumble one day. I understand that China has an absolute right to choose not to disclose some information, just like every other country in the world, but maybe it’s better for China to learn from its mistakes instead of hiding them.

Your report recounted how a veteran Australian journalist was allegedly threatened and interrogated by Chinese officials, apparently because the reporting of his team had violated Chinese laws, perhaps with regard to some information that couldn’t be disclosed.

The Chinese government desperately tried to hide its flaws by targeting the foreign media, but its attempt to suppress the Australian news outlet ABC did not go well and only led to more of its flaws being reported.


Australia’s last two accredited journalists in mainland China evacuated as diplomatic ties worsen

Australia’s last two accredited journalists in mainland China evacuated as diplomatic ties worsen

Such cases often end up damaging the international reputation of a country; people would be afraid to go to or deal with a country that has threatened many foreigners and visitors.

In my opinion, China should show its beautiful side, promoting tourism and showing kindness to people around the world, while protecting its own interests. This is perfectly fine.

At the same time, China should also be ready to embrace its flaws and be honest to the world, especially their people. That’s how a person should behave, and it should be the same when it comes to a country with such a long history of civilisation.

Wang Yam-yuk, Tseung Kwan O