China Raises Restrictions on Journalists in Beijing and Shanghai [VIDEO]

China announced today that foreign journalists need advance permission to report from certain parts of Beijing—including Wangfujing (shown in the screenshot above) and other of the capital’s main shopping districts–and that they are not allowed to do so from a specific location, People’s Square, in Shanghai. On Sunday, journalists and photographers from news organizations including the BBC, Bloomberg News and the New York Times were harassed and assaulted by plainclothes security officers at the site of ‘Jasmine Revolution‘ protests announced anonymously on the Internet. In speaking about the heightened restrictions on the media, Chinese officials appeared to blame foreign journalists.


Bloomberg News says that its cameraman was kicked and seriously beaten in the presence of uniformed officers on Sunday. A BBC correspondent says that he and a colleague were ‘roughed up’ and thrown into a van, says the Guardian. The Foreign Correspondents Club of China also reports that five news organizations had had materials or equipment confiscated, while nine journalists reported being detained for as long as four hours.

According to today’s New York Times

On Tuesday, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman defended the new restrictions and the behavior of the police, suggesting that the authorities were simply trying to maintain order. “The police provided reasonable guidance, and the journalists should understand and cooperate,” the spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, said at a regular news conference. “If both sides take this attitude, we can minimize the occurrence of such incidents.” 

The new limitations on reporters even in the absence of demonstrations highlight the government’s anxiety over the possible spread of unrest that has toppled authoritarian rulers in Egypt and Tunisia. Since anonymous calls for protests went out two weeks ago on an American Web site, state security forces have also placed scores of dissidents and rights advocates under surveillance and tightened censorship to prevent word of the “jasmine” rallies from spreading on the Internet or by means of microblogs.

Jiang also said, in words further seeking to put the blame on the foreign journalists: 

“Many media organisations haven’t encountered any trouble while reporting in China for many years. Why do some journalists always run into trouble? I find it strange. The journalists should really respect the laws and regulations.”

Prior to the 2008 Olympic Games, China had loosened its restrictions on journalists reporting in the country, except for in Tibet. But as the Guardian notes, ‘in practice authorities have closed areas to the media when they consider them sensitive,’ including Tibetan areas in Sichuan where unrest occurred in March 2008.

American and European diplomats have condemned the assaults on journalists and the new restrictions on media reporting. Chinese news media are not allowed to discuss the rallies. 

Below is a video from the Boxun channel on YouTube; the video was taken on February 27, 2011 and shows the ‘anti’-’Jasmine Revolution’ Wangfujing road closures in Beijing.


Previous Care2 Coverage

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China Cracks Down on Human Rights Defenders, Liu Xiaobo’s Wife a ‘Hostage’ [VIDEO]

China Quashes Calls for a ‘Jasmine Revolution’ on Sunday

Happy New Year of the Rabbit; Good Bye to the Tigers of Oppression [VIDEO]

Photo: Screenshot from video taken on February 27, 2011, showing the 'anti'-'Jasmine Revolution' Wangfujing road closures. Via the Boxun channel on YouTube.


W. C
W. C2 days ago

Thank you for caring.

William C
William C2 days ago

Thanks for the information.

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson7 years ago

Thankyou to all the brave journalists, from every country in the world, that put their very lives on the line, to report the truth, so that the rest of us can make logical decisions! Bless you and your work ! Be safe our friends! Thankyou!

May Howie
may Howie7 years ago


Vernon C.
.7 years ago


Okay Nita, u mentioned those atrocities against animals. But it is not the chinese govt that treats the animals bad, it is the citizens. Why,u may ask. Well here is a surprise for u. Not every country have the same love for their animals as the US. While u see dogs & cats as loving pets that are part of your family, some other countries may see them simply as food or pests. In many parts of the US,chicken which we eat as food are treated atrociously too. The living birds are packed in cages with little room to walk around. Yet we do not complain. Why? Because we see chickens as food & we do not care. I am sure that many of u have not given a thought to how those millions of birds are slaughtered. Well in other countries, the same disregard are given to animals who they see as food, be them cats, dogs, seals, bears etc.

Some people accuse me of condoning these things. But they really do not get it. I seldom condone anything...but I also seldom condemn anything. I just try to look at things objectively & try to understand it.

Vernon C.
.7 years ago

Nita Smith & others
I spent 6 months in China working. I did not only visit the tourist attractions. U cannot spend 6 months somewhere without seeing & being part of the lives of the people. I am not saying that China is perfect...but what country is? Like in every country there are many people who commit atrocities in many forms & fashions...the US is included among those countries. Every person's sensitivities are not the same, neither is every government's. Just because the US has their ideas on what is right & wrong do not mean that the entire world must conform to those ideals. And that is the problem with America. Americans somehow believe that whatever they subscribe to is the right way & any country that do not hold fast to those beliefs are ever so wrong & need "liberating". We have to respect the laws & beliefs of all countries, no matter how much the laws differ from ours. And the failure to do so is the main reason why the US have so many enemies especially from the other side of the world, where their customs & beliefs are different.

Many of our western ideals which we hold dear & try to get other countries to adopt are actually laughed at & are a just big joke among those other countries, & are dismissed as US silliness & decadence. And it is not only the governments that see them that way, but also the very people who we believe are so unfortunate.


Julie W.
Julie W7 years ago

robert, I hate buying anything made in China, but sometimes there is no other choice. So many Australian products I used to buy are now made in China.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener7 years ago

They love control... but it's only an illusion!

Shell S.
Past Member 7 years ago

Sending much loving kindness and positive thoughts to the Chinese people. Namaste

Manuela B.
Manuela B7 years ago

China is a big worry....