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China Tightens Media Controls ahead of Communist Party Congress

China Tightens Media Controls ahead of Communist Party Congress

Posted September. 06, 2002 23:09,   


The Chinese government is tightening its media controls ahead of the 16th Commuinst Party Congress set for November 8, keeping a close eye on not only papers, TV stations but also the Internet and mobile phone messages, a Hong Kong-based newspaper reported.

The communist party’s official paper People’s Daily also wrote on that matter on September 6 that the party needs to take due measures against undesirable mobile messages because “some rebellious forces could pose a serious threat to national security by circulating groundless rumors in an attempt to divide the people and trigger social unrest.”

The authorities recently put Wan Yen Hai, an ADIS activist who criticized the communist party over his Web site, under detention, and banned sales of books critical of the government. They also blocked access to widely popular search engine ‘Google’ on Sept. 2 as a part of controls on news and information.

The Chinese Information Ministry has beefed up security over satellite broadcasters just in case some reactionaries break into stations for demonstrations. They are also clamping down on unauthorized broadcasters. In mid July this year, members of Falun Going, a spiritual group the party considers a dangerous cult, hijacked a satellite broadcasting station in a northwest region and displayed messages of support for the spiritual movement in a TV broadcast.

U.S.-based Falun Gong Information Center said in a statement that a group of Falun Gong supporters occupied a satellite TV station located in Heibei, Baudian and successfully interrupted broadcast signals. Chinese state-run CCTV has improved security over vehicles and visitors since then.

Meanwhile, the communist party’s propaganda agency has reportedly handed out to state-run news media and TV stations a document instructing them not to handle 32 politically sensitive issues about fractions in the party or the controversial plan to invite capitalists.