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Beijing lashes back at US jab on media freedoms

Beijing lashes back at US jab on media freedoms

China's Foreign Ministry on Monday rejected accusations by President Barack Obama that China is among nations that regularly harass and detain journalists.
In his May 1 statement marking World Press Freedom Day, Obama cited the imprisonment of reporter Shi Tao and human rights blogger Hu Jia as "emblematic examples" on how China and other nations restrict press freedoms.
"In every corner of the globe, there are journalists in jail or being actively harassed," Obama said.
In a response issued Monday, the Foreign Ministry said the government protects freedom of speech and encourages the development of the media industry.
The U.S. should respect the integrity of China's legal system and "cease making irresponsible comments about the situation of media freedom in China," the statement said.
While China's constitution guarantees free speech, the Communist Party exercises a heavy say over coverage, and journalists and bloggers such as Hu and Shi have frequently been charged under vague state security laws.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has listed China as the world's leading jailer of journalists for 10 consecutive years, with 28 held as of Dec. 1, 2008.


Updated : 2021-04-13 04:25 GMT+08:00