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We will give the media complete freedom to report when they come to China.

— Wang Wei, vice president of the Beijing organizing committee[11]

On this page:

When Beijing bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics, it pledged that the Games would promote lasting change and open China to the world. One of the key tests of Beijing's commitment to this pledge was media openness. In January 2007, a set of temporary regulations went into effect that relaxed restrictions on foreign journalists working in China before and during the Olympics, allowing them to:
  • travel freely within China, and
  • directly interview Chinese sources without prior government approval.
To answer the concern from the international community that the press relaxation was only temporary, and would end on October 17, 2008, the regulations' expiration date, the Chinese authorities made a broader pledge:

"The door has opened already. It will never be closed again. We will continue to work for a better environment for journalists in China. You have my assurance on it."

— Qin Gang, Spokesperson, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, March 13, 2008

The Chinese government did deliver on its promise. On the night of October 17, just minutes before the expiration of the temporary regulations, the Chinese government announced a new set of regulations, in effect making the press relaxation for foreign journalists permanent. However, the new regulations, like their temporary counterparts earlier, exclude Chinese journalists working in China. That is, while allowing more freedom for foreign journalists, the Chinese government is maintaining its systematic control over news gathering and reporting by domestic journalists and writers.

Aside from undermining China's progress toward establishing a civil society, the lack of press freedom in China affects the Chinese people at the most fundamental level, as can be seen in the current tainted milk powder scandal.

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Devastating Consequences of Muzzling the Press

The devastating consequences of muzzling the press are all too clear in the tainted milk powder disaster of 2008. According to Fu Jianfeng (傅剑锋), editor of the magazine Southern Weekend (南方周末), news of the tainted milk scandal was delayed by up to two months because of strict controls on the media in the lead-up to the Olympics.[1] In early July, a Southern Weekend reporter, He Feng (禾风), investigated the story in a number of hospitals in Hunan, Hubei, and Jiangxi Provinces, where doctors already suspected that the high number of infant admissions was directly related to Sanlu milk products. However, He Feng had to wait until after the Olympics to launch a full investigation and was delayed from publishing his report, "The Difficult Path of Pursuing the Culprit of the Kidney-stone Babies" (结石婴儿的艰难追凶路), until September 14.[2] Fu Jianfeng said on September 24, 2008:

In fact, in late July, our reporter, He Feng, already knew that in Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, there were more than twenty cases of babies developing kidney stones due to Sanlu's tainted milk powder. But as everyone knows, we could not investigate this kind of incident at a time when [the authorities] wanted harmony. But as a news editor, I was very worried. I had the feeling that this was an enormous public health disaster. But I could not send a reporter to cover it. I was deeply guilt-ridden and defeated at the time.[3]

By mid-October 2008, tainted milk powder had killed four babies hospitalized 13,000, and sickened another 54,000, while nearly 6,000 babies remained in the hospital with kidney problems.[4]

The tainted milk scandal is only one example of the government exercising control over media coverage of critically important issues. For a period of time soon after the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008, the government banned reporters from going to the quake zones in order to stanch the flow of bad news. In January 2007, the Chinese government introduced regulations that required the media to obtain permission to cover historic events or anniversaries involving controversial or politically-sensitive revolutionary or political figures.[5] Moreover, despite the fact that, in 2005, the Chinese government declassified death tolls resulting from natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, it still routinely issues ad hoc bans on reporting news stories deemed to be detrimental to the image of the government or have destabilizing effect, including those about man-made disasters such as industrial accidents and mining incidents.

The following account examines:
  • China's obligation to guarantee press freedom as required by international treaties and its own constitution;

  • the government's failure to provide true media freedom for foreign journalists covering the Olympic Games as it had promised;

  • the country's official censorship apparatus and tools;

  • other means of deterrence and interference employed by the authorities to suppress press freedom;

  • the consequences faced by journalists and sources who defied official press bans in the lead-up to and during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
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China's Obligations: A Free and Open Media

In this section:

  1. International human rights treaties obligate the Chinese government to honor freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and the right to information

    The link between freedom of speech and freedom of the press was enunciated 60 years ago in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).[6] The UDHR today stands as a foundational document of the international human rights system, and many of its provisions have the status of customary international law.
    UDHR Article 19:

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    China has also signed, though not ratified, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).[7]
    ICCPR Article 19:
    1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

    2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

    3. The exercise of the rights...carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

    (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

    (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

    As signatory to the ICCPR, the Chinese government is obligated to respect the spirit and intent of these ICCPR provisions, including the freedom to "seek, receive and impart information."

  2. China's own constitution guarantees freedom of the press

    The PRC Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech, including the right to criticize the government:[8]
    Article 35:

    Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

    Article 41:

    Citizens of the People's Republic of China have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary.

  3. Beijing's Olympic Promises

    Though officials of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and China insisted that the Olympic Games must not be mixed with politics, the Olympic Charter states that the Games are founded upon respect for "universal fundamental ethical rights."[9]

    Olympic Charter, Fundamental Principles, paragraph 1:
    Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.

    Moreover, to secure the 2008 Summer Games, China's bid committee assured the IOC and the international community that awarding Beijing the Olympics would not only lead to greater freedom of the press, but also advance the long-term development of human rights in China. Below are some of the promises Beijing made during the Olympic bid process in 2001:
    There will be no restrictions on media reporting and movement of journalists up to and including the Olympic Games.

    — Report of the IOC Evaluation Commission[10]

    We will give the media complete freedom to report when they come to China.

    — Wang Wei, vice president of the Beijing organizing committee[11]

    By allowing Beijing to host the Games you will help the development of human rights.

    — Liu Jingmin, vice president of the bid committee[12]

    But after Chinese officials issued the new media regulations for foreign journalists working in China, the authorities inconsistently upheld and in many cases ignored the special measures, both in the lead-up to and during the Olympic Games. Still, despite their spotty implementation, these measures represented a step forward for foreign journalists working in China.

    Additionally, though the new media regulations did not address Internet censorship, Beijing Olympic officials announced in 2006 that they would grant overseas media uncensored access to the Internet for the duration of the Games. However, in late July 2008, just days before the beginning of the Games, foreign journalists discovered that many websites maintained by foreign media outlets and rights NGOs were blocked, such as the Chinese-language sites of the British Broadcasting Corporation and Wikipedia, as well as the websites of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Human Rights in China.

    On July 30, Kevin Gosper, Chairperson of the IOC Press Commission, admitted that "some IOC officials negotiated with the Chinese that some sensitive sites would be blocked on the basis they were not considered Games related." Gosper apologized: "I regret that it now appears BOCOG has announced that there will be limitations on website access during Games time."[13] In response to this revelation, Sun Weide, spokesman of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG), said on July 31 that the government would not allow the spread of any information on the Internet that is forbidden by law or harms national interests.[14] Beijing subsequently unblocked some but not all of these websites.
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The Agencies and Instruments of Censorship[15]

In this section:

In November 2003, Liu Binjie, Deputy Director of China's General Administration for Press and Publication (GAPP) said: "Currently China is one of the world's countries richest in freedom of speech and freedom of publication. Those outside of China who make claims about China's news, expression, and press are completely without support."[16] In reality, China's censorship system is among the most elaborate of any country in the world, with a host of government and Party agencies and a complex set of laws that tightly control the contents of every type of publication and broadcast.[17]
  1. China's chief censorship agencies[18]

    The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP, 新闻出版总署) is the licensor of all publishers—print, electronic, or Internet—in China, and has the authority to screen, censor, and ban any publication, and shut down any publisher.

    The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (广播电影电视总局) controls the contents of all radio, television, satellite, and Internet broadcasts in China.

    The Ministry for Information Industry (信息产业部) regulates China's telecommunications and software industries, and controls the licensing and registration of all "Internet information services."

    The State Council Information Office (SCIO, 国务院信息办公室) oversees all news postings on news or non-news websites and has the authority to restrict who may post news on the Internet.

    The National Administration for the Protection of State Secrets (NAPSS, 国家保密局, also known as State Secrecy Bureau) has the authority to draft state secrets laws and regulations and is responsible for inspecting and classifying state secrets protection work on a national level. It is primarily responsible for the designation of state secrets (with the exception of the administration of military secrets, which is the responsibility of the Central Military Commission). The NAPSS has the power to retroactively classify information as state secrets even after the information has entered the public domain and to determine the time period for keeping state secrets classified. (State secrets bodies and Party committees are established in provincial and city level governments and also have the authority to designate—and the responsibility to protect—state secrets.)[19]

    The Central Propaganda Department (CPD, 中共中央宣传部) is the Communist Party's main censorship organ. It monitors the contents of all publications about Party and national leaders, major political issues and policies relating to foreign diplomacy, nationalities, and religion to ensure adherence to the Party's political dogma.

  2. Laws and Regulations

    State Secrets Laws

    Among the most effective instruments used by the Chinese government to crush dissent and control information is the labyrinth of laws restricting the disclosure of "state secrets."[20] The twin pillars of state secrets laws are the Law on the Protection of State Secrets of the People's Republic of China (1989), and the Measures for Implementing the Law on the Protection of State Secrets of the People's Republic of China (1990). Aided by provisions in other laws—the State Security Law, Criminal Law, and Criminal Procedure Law—they prohibit the possession and distribution of any information that is classified (including retroactively) as state secrets.

    "State secrets" are classified as "secret," "highly secret," and "top secret." The types of information explicitly classified as state secrets range from unemployment rates, information about strikes, and data on the numbers of people fleeing from famine, to programs and plans for prison and Reeducation-Through-Labor work, to provincial statistics on numbers of executions. As mentioned above, any information can be retroactively classified as state secrets. Further, a person can be penalized whether or not he knew the information he distributed or possessed was indeed classified.

    Following are two recent high-profile cases concerning possession and distribution of "state secrets":

    Zhao Yan, a Beijing-based journalist working as a researcher for the New York Times, was arrested in September 2004 on charges of "illegally providing state secrets overseas." He was accused of being the source of a September 7, 2004 New York Times article that correctly predicted that former president Jiang Zemin would step down as chairman of the Central Military Commission. After 19 months of detention—during which Zhao became an international cause célèbre—Zhao was tried in June 2006, not on "state secrets" but fraud charges, and received a 3-year sentence. He was released in September 2007.[21]

    Huang Qi, a Chengdu-based internet dissident, was arrested on June 10, 2008, on "suspicion of illegally possessing state secrets," after publishing news about the plight of parents who lost children in the Sichuan earthquake. Huang has not been heard from since his arrest. Huang was the founder of the human rights website, 64tianwang.com. He served a five-year sentence (2001–2005) on charges of "subversion of state power."[22]

    The case of Zheng Enchong illustrates the way the authorities can prosecute the transmission of information designated neibu (internal)—information that is not classified—as state secrets.

    Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based lawyer who represented residents who were evicted and relocated as a result of urban development, was convicted in October 2003 on charges of "illegally providing state secrets to entities outside of China" for distributing two documents. The first document was Zheng's personal account of police action against a workers' demonstration that he faxed to HRIC. The second document was a government "internal" document, entitled "Reporters covering conflict sparked by forced removal come under attack," which had been circulating in the public domain and was never classified as secret. (HRIC never received the document.) Zheng was sentenced to three years in prison and one year's deprivation of political rights. He was released in June 2006.[23]

    Criminal Law Article 105: "Subversion of State Power" and "Instigating Subversion of State Power"

    "Subversion of State Power" and "Instigating Subversion of State Power" are the two most frequently used charges against critics of the government and the Communist Party. The punishment for "subversion of State Power" is 10 years' to life imprisonment, and that for "instigating subversion of state power" is up to five years' imprisonment. Deprivation of political rights is almost always added on to the prison term. Numerous writers and activists and rights defense lawyers have been accused or convicted of these crimes for writing and publishing articles, representing politically sensitive cases or granting interviews.

    One of the most well-known writers convicted of "subversion of state power" is Huang Jinqiu. In 2004, he was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment for posting some 300 articles on the Internet between 2000 and 2004, which included articulations of the principles of an opposition party that he was planning to form.[24]


    Many regulations prohibit publications, in print or on the Internet, with contents that "harm the honor or the interests of the nation" or "spread rumors, disturb social order, disrupt social stability." However, laws, court opinions, or government authorities do not provide definitions of national honor or interests, or guidance on their meaning, or when a publication is deemed to spread rumor, disturb social order, or disrupt social stability. The following are a few examples of such regulations:[25]
    Interim Provisions on the Administration of Internet Publication (2002)
    Article 17:
    Internet publications may not carry the following types of content:
    (iii) harming the honor or the interests of the nation;
    (vi) spreading rumors, disturbing social order, disrupting social stability.

    Measures for the Administration of Telecommunication Business Licenses (2001)
    Appendix 2 (III)(iv):
    No operators or their employees shall utilize telecommunication networks to produce, copy, promulgate or transmit any information containing the following types of content:
    3. harming the honor or the interests of the nation;
    6. spreading rumors, disturbing social order or disrupting social stability.

    Regulations on the Administration of Publishing (2001)
    Article 26:
    No publication may contain the following types of contents:
    (iii) harming the honor or the interests of the nation;
    (vi) disturbing social order, disrupting social stability.

  3. Technological tools

    The Chinese government maintains a sophisticated state-of-the art censorship system for controlling the Internet.[26]

    • Nine government departments as well as local authorities police the Internet for content deemed sensitive or subversive.[27]

    • Censors screen all major portals and online forums, as well as block a wide-ranging list of websites for overseas NGOs, dissident groups, and media outlets. Search terms relating to politically-sensitive issues are also restricted and search results filtered.[28]

    • Internet service providers are required to record the identities and activities of all users, and websites and chatrooms are held responsible for content published on their services.[29]

  4. Means of deterrence and interference

    The Olympic media regulations do not apply to local journalists in China. In June 2008, Chinese president Hu Jintao exhorted the domestic press to guide public opinion correctly and "maintain strict propaganda discipline."[30] Chinese media professionals have faced harsh retribution such as violent physical interference or even political persecution for crossing the official party line when reporting on sensitive topics.

    And though the Olympic media regulations grant foreign journalists the right to interview Chinese sources without prior government approval, the Chinese authorities have relied on harassment, threats, and detention of foreign journalists and Chinese sources to prevent the reporting of negative news.

    The following are select examples of the treatment of Chinese sources and Chinese and foreign journalists.

    Treatment of Chinese sources

    • On August 28, 2008, Wang Guilan (王桂兰), a veteran petitioner from Hubei Province, was sentenced to 15 months of Reeducation-through-Labor for "disturbing social order" after answering a phone call from a foreign journalist on July 27, 2008. The press call had taken place in a "black jail" (an extra-judicial and secret detention facility) where the authorities had detained Wang since April 17, 2008, to prevent her from "making trouble" during the Olympics.[3]

    • On August 17, 2008, Beijing petitioners Wu Dianyuan (吴殿元) and Wang Xiuying (王秀英) were sentenced to a year of Reeducation-Through-Labor for "disturbing the public order" after repeatedly applying to protest in the officially designated "protest zones" during the Beijing Olympics. As the sentencing order sparked outcry and drew widespread foreign media coverage, the Chinese authorities rescinded the original decision on August 29, 2008.[32]

    • On August 6, 2008, Zhang Wei (张薇) and Ma Xiulan (马秀兰), who petitioned for redress after their Beijing homes were demolished for Olympics construction, were detained on suspicion of "disturbing social order" after being interviewed by foreign journalists on August 4, 2008.[33]

    • In late July 2008, Liu Shaokun (刘绍坤), a Sichuan school teacher was ordered to serve one year of Reeducation-Through-Labor for "inciting a disturbance" after taking photos of collapsed school buildings in quake-affected areas and posting them online. In an earlier media interview, he had expressed his anger at "the shoddy 'tofu' buildings."[34]

    • Jia Jianying (贾建英), wife of imprisoned Beijing dissident He Depu (何德普), was put under 24-hour surveillance by local security in the lead-up to the Olympics. Police told her explicitly that the surveillance would last until September 24 and have instructed her to "keep interviews with overseas media to a minimum."[35]

    • On June 3, 2008, more than 100 parents protesting the collapse of poorly-constructed schools in the Sichuan earthquake were dragged away from a courthouse in Dujingyan and prevented from speaking to Associated Press reporters on the scene.[36]

    Treatment of Chinese journalists

    • On September 1, 2008, journalist Zan Aizong was prevented from flying to a human rights seminar in Switzerland by border police at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. He has since lost his job as a columnist for "Weekly Comments" on 21cn.com, and his politically sensitive columns on the tainted milk powder issue have been removed.[37]

    • On September 11, 2008, Tibetan journalist and TV presenter Washu Rangjong was arrested at his home in the Eastern Tibetan district of Sertha. His family has not yet been informed of the reason for his arrest.[38]

    • On May 13, 2008, a Shandong court sentenced local journalist Qi Chonghuai (齐崇淮) to four years' imprisonment on extortion and blackmail charges. Qi was reportedly arrested in June 2007, after writing a story on a local official who had beaten a woman for arriving late to work. He Yanjie (贺彦杰), a freelance journalist who worked with Qi on his reports, was also sentenced to two years' imprisonment on the same charges.[39]

    • On May 6, 2008, Zhang Ping (张平), who writes under the penname Chang Ping (长平), was fired from his position as deputy chief editor of the magazine Southern Metropolis Weekly. Reporters Without Borders said that Zhang's dismissal was due to his commentaries, which called on the government to allow more media freedom in covering the Tibet unrest and to review its Tibet policy. The commentaries reportedly angered many Chinese Internet users, who accused Zhang of being a traitor.[40]

    Treatment of foreign journalists

    The Foreign Correspondents Club of China has recorded over 60 cases of interference and harassment of foreign reporters since the beginning of the Olympic Period in late July 2008 alone, part of over 300 cases of interference that the FCC has chronicled since January 1, 2007. The following are some of these cases.

    • On August 19, 2008, six independent video journalists from the U.S. (Brian Conley, Jeffrey Rae, James Powderly, Michael Liss, Tom Grant, and Jeff Goldin) were arrested and detained for ten days for filming pro-Tibet demonstrations outside the Olympics.[41]

    • On August 13, British journalist John Ray was roughed up and detained by Beijing police while covering a protest by activists from Students for a Free Tibet. He could be heard identifying himself as a journalist while being detained in recordings taken at the scene. At the same time, photographer Dan Chung was pushed and blocked by police as he tried to photograph the incident.[42]

    • On August 11, The Times photographer Jack Hill was detained while trying to cover the bombings in Kuqa, XUAR. He was threatened with arrest if he attempted to leave and was released after a colleague questioned his detention during a news conference in Beijing.[43]

    • On August 6, ESPN producer Arty Berko was "physically accosted" and detained by Beijing police while trying to photograph a pro-Tibet protest banner near the Bird's Nest stadium.[44]

    • On August 5, two Japanese journalists were detained and beaten by police in Kashgar, XUAR while trying to report on an attack which killed 16 policemen in August.[45]

    • On July 25, police harassed, hit, and detained Hong Kong reporters who were reporting and filming the long queues of Olympics tickets sales.[46]

    • Court officers barred Independent reporter Clifford Coonan and photographer Ian Teh from delivering a petition and reporting in Dujiangyan, Sichuan, even though the two had press passes to cover the earthquake zone. Police forced open their car door and demanded that Teh delete all images from his camera's memory card.[47]

    • On June 3, 2008, an Associated Press reporter and two photographers were forcibly removed from the scene of a protest in Dujiangyan, Sichuan, staged by parents of children who had died due to the collapse of faulty schools in the earthquake.[48]

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The Chinese government's decision to permanently allow foreign journalists more press freedom is a positive and significant step forward. However, the central government must address the reportedly widespread violations of these media regulations that took place during the temporary period, and insure their full implementation on the provincial and local levels.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the current media relaxation for foreign journalists is that it excludes all domestic journalists working in China. As far as reporting is concerned, the Chinese government is opening China to the world but not for its own people. Press freedom is a fundamental human right, and is unarguably a cornerstone of a civil society—it is a safeguard against social injustices, official malfeasance, and political tyranny. By suppressing press freedom, a government shows its weakness, not its strength.
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[1] Fu Jianfeng [傅剑锋], "[Zhuanzai] Nanfang Zhoumo jieru Sanlu du naifen diaocha de xinwen bianji jishou: wo lai bao Sanlu de pi" [【转载】南方周末介入三鹿毒奶粉调查的新闻编辑手记:我来剥三鹿的皮], http://juoaa.org/JiDa/JDforum/messages/158384.html.

[2] "Jieshi ying'er de jiannan zhuixiong lu" [结石婴儿的艰难追凶路], Fu Jianfeng's blog [傅剑锋的BLOG], http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_477654540100atxf.html.

[3] Liu Xiaobo [刘晓波], "Zhongxuanbu ye shi du naifen fanlan de zuikui" [中宣部也是毒奶粉泛滥的罪魁], Radio Free Asia, September 24, 2008, http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/liu_xiaobo-09242008135913.html.

[4] "5,800 Chinese babies hospitalized on tainted milk," Associated Press, October 16, 2008, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i1PW8Su6EECm-m22gV1dABkLdHJQD93RCSR01; "13,000 babies hospitalized by tainted milk," China Post, September 22, 2008, http://www.chinapost.com.tw/health/children%E2%80%99s-health--/2008/09/22/175709/13000-babies.htm.

[5] Cary Huang, "Party introduces new censorship rule," South China Morning Post, January 16, 2007.

[6] Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), G.A. res. 217A (III), U.N. Doc A/810 (1948), http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html.

[7] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), G.A. res. 2200A (XXI), entered into force Mar. 23, 1976 (PRC signed Oct. 5, 1998), http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/a_ccpr.htm.

[8] P.R.C. Constitution [中华人民共和国宪法] (1982), http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/constitution/constitution.html.

[9] International Olympic Committee, Olympic Charter, effective July 7, 2007, http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_122.pdf.

[10] International Olympic Committee, "Report of the IOC Evaluation Commission for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008" (2001), p73, http://multimedia.olympic.org/pdf/en_report_299.pdf.

[11] Statement at a press conference of Wang Wei, Vice President of the Beijing Olympic Games Bid Committee, available at "Beijing Awaits Olympic Verdict," British Broadcasting Corporation, July 12, 2001, http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/in_depth/2001/olympic_votes/1434964.stm.

[12] Statement of Liu Jingmin, Vice President of the Olympics bid committee, quoted in "Beijing Still First in Race Despite U.S. Opposition," Gamesbids.com, April 24, 2001, http://www.gamesbids.com/eng/index.php?news=988126264&pf=1.

[13] Nick Mulvenney, "IOC Admits Internet Censorship Deal with China," Reuters, July 31, 2008, http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKPEK17034620080731.

[14] "Spread of Illegal Information Online not Allowed," Xinhua News Agency, July 31, 2008, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/olympics/2008-07/31/content_6894022.htm.

[15] He Qinglian [何清涟], The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China, Human Rights in China, August 18, 2008, http://hrichina.org/public/contents/68222.

[16] "Liu Binjie: Zhongguo shi shijie shang yanlun chuban ziyou zui chongfen de guojia zhi yi" [柳斌杰:中国是世界上言论出版自由最充分的国家之一], People's Daily, November 02, 2003, http://www.people.com.cn/GB/jingji/1037/2165281.html.

[17] He Qinglian [何清涟], The Fog of Censorship: Media Control in China, Human Rights in China, August 18, 2008, http://hrichina.org/public/contents/68222.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Human Rights in China, State Secrets: China's Legal Labyrinth (2007), http://www.hrichina.org/public/PDFs/State-Secrets-Report/HRIC_StateSecrets-Report.pdf.

[20] For a detailed analysis of China's state secrets legal framework and the Chinese original texts of the laws and their English translation, see Human Rights in China, State Secrets: China's Legal Labyrinth (2007), http://www.hrichina.org/public/PDFs/State-Secrets-Report/HRIC_StateSecrets-Report.pdf.

[21] Human Rights in China, "HRIC Says Release of Journalist Zhao Yan is Three Years Too Late," September 16, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/44931.

[22] For more information on Huang Qi's case, see Human Rights in China, "Huang Qi Denied Access to Counsel," June 24, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/60742; Human Rights in China, "Rights Activist Huang Qi Detained on Suspicion of Holding State Secrets," June 16, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/56586; Human Rights in China, "Human Rights in China Condemns the Detention of Huang Qi by Police in Chengdu," June 14, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/56408.

[23] Human Rights in China, "HRIC's Statement on the Conviction of Zheng Enchong," November 05, 2003, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/11799.

[24] Human Rights in China, "About the Individual: Huang Jinqiu," IR2008.org, http://www.ir2008.com/10/about.html.

[25] Examples drawn from CECC, "International Agreements and Domestic Legislation Affecting Freedom of Expression," Virtual Academy, http://www.cecc.gov/pages/virtualAcad/exp/explaws.html.

[26] For more on internet censorship and related topics see "Technology and Human Rights," China Rights Forum, 2006, no. 2, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/29485.

[27] CECC, "Freedom of Expression: Agencies Responsible for Censorship in China," Virtual Academy, http://www.cecc.gov/pages/virtualAcad/exp/expcensors.html.

[28] "Country Profile: China (including Hong Kong)," OpenNet Initiative, May 9, 2007, http://opennet.net/research/profiles/china.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Mure Dickie, "Beijing Orders Tighter Media Controls," Financial Times, June 24, 2008, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bda7cc42-4206-11dd-a5e8-0000779fd2ac,dwp_uuid=9c33700c-4c86-11da-89df-0000779e2340.html.

[31] Chinese Human Rights Defenders, "Olympics Crackdown Continues as Another Activist Is Sent to Labor Camp," August 30, 2008, http://crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class10/200808/20080831115236_10342.html.

[32] Human Rights in China, "Authorities Relent on Reeducation-Through-Labor Sentence for Elderly Women who Applied for Protest Permit," August 29, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/67935.

[33] "China gets the gold medal in human rights violations," AsiaNews.it, August 22, 2008, http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=13039.

[34] Human Rights in China, "Family Visits Still Denied to Sichuan School Teacher Punished after Quake-Zone Visit," July 29, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/2066524.

[35] Human Rights in China, "Human Rights Situation in China Worsens as Bush Calls for a More Open Society," August 7, 2008, http://hrichina.org/public/contents/67871.

[36] "Quake Parents Protest School Construction," Associated Press, June 3, 2008, http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/06/03/china.quake.ap/index.html.

[37] "China blocks journalist from travelling to seminar," Associated Press, September 18, 2008, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ijeRew1w_PgNM1MAtRdQ4wfGz8sQD9393LBO0.

[38] Reporters Without Borders, "Tibetan TV news presenter arrested in eastern Tibet," September 18, 2008, http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=28609.

[39] "Reporter Who Wrote about Violent Official Jailed 4 Years," Associated Press, May 16, 2008.

[40] Benjamin Kang Lim, "Chinese Editor Fired over Tibet Commentaries," Reuters, May 7, 2008, http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSPEK15387820080506.

[41] John Paul Titlow, "Hot Six," Philadelphia Weekly, September 18, 2008, http://www.studentsforafreetibet.org/article.php?id=1651.

[42] Patrick Smith, "ITV man John Ray arrested covering Tibet protest," Press Gazette, August 13, 2008, http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=41896&c=1; Oliver Luft, "Olympics: How western news teams battled against China's interference," The Guardian, August 22, 2008, http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/aug/22/olympicsandthemedia.pressandpublishing.

[43] International Freedom of Expression eXchange and Human Rights Watch, "IOC Urged to Take Action in Wake of New Abuses of Foreign Journalists, Including Incidents at Olympic Stadium, Korla, Kuqa, Yining and Kashgar," August 15, 2008, http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/96131/.

[44] International Freedom of Expression eXchange and Human Rights Watch, "IOC Urged to Take Action in Wake of New Abuses of Foreign Journalists, Including Incidents at Olympic Stadium, Korla, Kuqa, Yining and Kashgar," August 15, 2008, http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/96131/.

[45] "2 Japan Reporters Detained, Beaten by China Police," Associated Press, August 5, 2008, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/08/05/asia/AS-Japan-China-Reporter-Beating.html.

[46] Celine Sun, "Police manhandle HK journalists," South China Morning Post, June 26, 2008.

[47] Clifford Coonan, "China's [lost] Children: Return to Sichuan," The Independent, July 5, 2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/chinas-lost-children-return-to-sichuan-859522.html.

[48] "Quake parents protest school construction," Associated Press, June 3, 2008, http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/06/03/china.quake.ap/index.html.

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