Washington, D.C., October 25, 2017 – The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the decision by Chinese authorities to bar at least five prominent news organisations from attending today’s press conference introducing the new leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, as described by press reports and a statement on Twitter by the Foreign Correspondents Club of China.
Staff reporters for The New York Times, the BBC, The Economist, The Financial Times and the Guardian were excluded in what the FCCC said appeared to be retaliation for news coverage of which the Chinese government disapproved.
At the press conference in Beijing, which was widely attended by other news organisations, President Xi Jinping said, “We encourage reporters to travel and see more of China… to learn about and continue to report on more aspects of China,” according to news reports.
“It’s patently absurd for the Chinese president to call for more coverage of the country by foreign correspondents while excluding them from his press conference,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator. “We call on the authorities to allow all journalists, foreign and domestic, to report freely on China.”