Hidden Nook

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

China Detains Journalist

[Media Source*]

In a statement released to reporters and published in international news reports, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that it has been holding Ching since April 22 and that the journalist is now in Bejing. The statement also said that Ching has "admitted that in recent years he has been following the instructions of overseas intelligence organizations and has undertaken intelligence collecting activities."

"Intelligence collecting" seems to be a pretty vague excuse as reporters are suppose to gather news from a variety of sources, with the only difference between them and spies is the fact that the former makes such discoveries public while the latter passes it on towards their respective government. China has a history of suppressing journalists and despite becoming more "open" towards the world, old habits still seem to die hard with the "red dragon" government.

Last week, after learning privately from a mainland government official that her husband would be charged with "stealing core state secrets," [Mary] Lau decided to go public with the news of her husband's detention, according to the Washington Post. Though Lau and the Straits Times have known since April that Ching was detained, they were warned by authorities not to report the detention, and stayed silent in an effort to obtain his release through diplomatic means, the Post reported.

Lau has spoken to her husband several times since he was detained, but said that she has not yet received an official letter informing her of the government's allegations. She believes that Ching's detention was related to his investigations into Zhao, according to local and international reports.

Zhao Ziyang (who died this year in January) was a former Communist leader who opposed the Tiananmen Square massacre of demonstrators in 1989. An interview with him would have been devastating to the Communistic regime, since his dissenting views would have only encouraged more protests against China and would not help their situation (as they already have more than enough protests to deal with already).

China will probably continue to detain journalists up to the opening ceremonies of the Olympics (in which they will conviently release them as the Olympics will be in the media spot light and not prisoner abuse). Until then state media as well as "free" media will continue to report things from one angle (i.e. China's) and it will be up to the bloggers to report what is really happening over there.

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By Darnell Clayton • 11:19 PM • Email Post • •


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