As part of its bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, China pledged to expand press freedom. (To see how that went, read our 2008 Falsies Awards, in which China won dishonorable mention.) Now that the Games are over, "China has resumed blocking access to the Internet sites of some foreign media," including the BBC, Voice of America, Hong Kong's Ming Pao and Asiaweek. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the sites have been blocked because they broke Chinese laws, such as "recognizing Taiwan as an independent nation." He added that if the foreign sites "exercise self-discipline," they would enjoy "better Internet cooperation." An Asia researcher with Human Rights Watch observed that with the Olympics over, "The spotlight has moved out of China. ... It's easier to suppress dissent when you don't have 10,000 journalists in town." Perhaps concerned that its weakening economy will embolden dissidents, China is cracking down. Authorities have arrested and harassed signatories of an online appeal, "Charter 08," which calls for multiparty democracy and greater freedoms in China.
- About Us
- Press Room