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China behaving badly
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently toured the headquarters of three state-run media organizations, where he told journalists to be loyal to the Communist Party in “thought, politics and action.”
As if to underscore how seriously the assembled journalists took this admonition, the coverage of the visit was comically positive. Chinese national television CCTV reported on how Xi liked a news app he was shown: “Quite literally, he hit ‘like,’ ” an enthusiastic anchor said. CCTV also noted that a staffer for the Xinhua news agency said Xi's “encouragement was their driving force.”
The visit might have been a big hit with the regime, but it came as a big disappointment to anyone who thought that China’s decades-long economic expansion and growing middle class would lead to greater freedom.
The Chinese government is, in fact, in the midst of a news media crackdown. In addition to issuing loyalty edicts, it has arrested journalists for covering such events as protests in Beijing and last summer’s stock market crash. And lest people try to bypass officially sanctioned news media, the government continues to strengthen the so-called Great Firewall of China, the barriers that prevent the Chinese public from accessing certain information via the Internet.
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