Chinese Publication, Censored by Government, Exposes Article’s Removal

The New York Times

A news organization led by one of China’s most prominent journalists is sounding the alarm about censorship and the growing restrictions on free speech, citing a source very familiar with the situation: itself.

On Tuesday, the influential and respected news organization Caixin Media posted an article on its

Hu Shuli, editor of Caixin Media and one of the most prominent journalists in China. Credit Mike Clarke/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

English-language website reporting that the country’s Internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, which it called “a government censorship organ,” had deleted a March 3 article on Caixin’s Chinese-language website because it contained “illegal content.”

The article, which Caixin said was removed on Saturday, quoted Jiang Hong, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body. It said he had expressed the view that advisers should be free to give their opinions to the Communist Party’s leaders, who have gathered this month for the annual session of the National People’s Congress, the country’s legislature. Mr. Jiang was quoted as saying that “certain events” had cast a shadow over the meetings, leaving attendees “a bit dazed” and not wanting “to talk too much.” The New York Times cited that Caixin article in a report on Friday.

For a Chinese news organization to publicize the government’s censorship of the news media is highly unusual, and it comes less than three weeks after President Xi Jinping made a high-profile visit to some leading state-controlled news organizations, including China Central Television and the news agency Xinhua, telling them that they existed as propaganda tools for the Communist Party. While Caixin has always had more leeway than those organizations, it must still obey increasingly strict rules on what news organizations can publish.

“The English-language article from Caixin is a highly unusual instance of a Chinese publication publicly exposing an act of censorship,” said David Bandurski, an editor at the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong. “I think we can also guess that serious turf wars are happening within the leadership over control of the very business of press control.”     [FULL  STORY]