China expels American reporters and vows more punishments
China has threatened more curbs on US media operating in the country after saying it will expel journalists from three American newspapers. “China called on the US to stop suppressing Chinese media. If the US continues to be on the wrong track, China will be forced to take further countermeasures,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday.  The Ministry said on Tuesday it was revoking the press credentials for American journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, describing it as a response to the Trump administration’s recent measures against Chinese state media outlets in the United States. Washington last month labeled five Ch
‘Let’s play’: Beijing hints at payback for US curbs on Chinese state media
China has suggested that it will retaliate against the United States for reducing the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work in the US offices of major Chinese state-owned media organizations. Hua Chunying, the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s information department, on Tuesday condemned the Trump administration’s restrictions on five Chinese state-run media outlets that will result in the effective expulsion of dozens of Chinese journalists from the US. “Now the US kicked off the game, let’s play,” she said in a tweet. The US said on Monday it will put a “personnel cap” on five organizations the Trump administration considers propaganda arms of the Chinese government. The restri
Tracking the cat and mouse game of social media censorship in China
July 21, 2019 remains seared into Hongkongers’ memories for the shocking images and videos of white-shirted men, some suspected to be gangsters, beating protesters and train passengers with sticks in the Yuen Long railway station. Over the border in mainland China, the date evokes a memory of a different scenario: black-clad protesters converging on Beijing’s liaison office in Hong Kong and defacing the national emblem of the People’s Republic of China. Until that day, Chinese media had been silent on protests erupting in Hong Kong. The protests were sparked by a now withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent for trial on the mainland, among other jurisdi
When Chinese students were given the uncensored internet
Part of living in mainland China is living with a censored internet. But what’s that doing to the people growing up behind the “Great Firewall”? A recent study has found that the perils of living with such a controlled internet go beyond simply having limited access to valuable information. In fact, censorship in China is fostering a society where people no longer demand uncensored information at all, according to research published in the American Economic Association. “Citizens with access to uncensored internet may not seek out politically sensitive information, due to lack of interest in politics, fear of government reprisal, and unawareness or distrust of foreign news outlets,” the rese
This idiom perfectly describes China’s squeeze on Hong Kong
When I started as AFP’s bureau chief in Hong Kong in 2014, huge pro-democracy rallies known as the Umbrella Movement were erupting onto the streets, earning their name from the rag-tag assortment of umbrellas used by protesters to protect against police tear gas and pepper spray. Although there were flare-ups of violence, the protests were largely peaceful and the city was filled with hope for change. This brave optimism, which pitted the economically powerful but small former British colony against the might of mainland China, won Hong Kong’s people worldwide admiration. For many like me, an outsider living here, it deepened my affection for the semi-autonomous territory where I had already
1984 is happening in China, says acclaimed novelist
In May, celebrated Chinese novelist Ma Jian, 65, spent a month in Hong Kong as writer-in-residence at a university in the city. The weeks went by quickly and without incident. Ma, who lives in exile in London, had a pleasant time teaching and discussing literature with promising students, though his work has been banned in China since the 1980s. Half a year later, Ma returned to Hong Kong once more, a city where he had previously lived for a decade. But this trip was very different: he struggled to find a place to host him. The venue that was slated to hold his two appearances at a literary festival over the weekend canceled. Tai Kwun, an arts center converted from a historic police compound
Pussy Riot storms Hong Kong
Two members of Russian activist punk rock group Pussy Riot visited Hong Kong to take part in a week of freedom of expression events in the city.  After an artist who criticized China had to cancel his show because of alleged threats from the Chinese authorities, the Pussy Riot members organized a protest in solidarity.  Olya Kyrachyova and Nika Nikulshina of Pussy Riot talk about supporting activists in Hong Kong and why LGBT solidarity is important.
Hong Kong refuses visa renewal to Financial Times journalist
Hong Kong has refused to renew a work visa for a veteran Financial Times journalist, less than two months after he hosted a talk by a pro-independence political party at the city’s press club. Victor Mallet, Asia news editor at the Financial Times, is the first vice-president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong. This is currently his second stint working in the city. He returned to Hong Kong in 2016, after first working in the city from 2003 to 2008.  “This is the first time we have encountered this situation in Hong Kong, and we have not been given a reason for the rejection,” a spokeswoman for the London-based newspaper said on Friday. It is unclear why his visa renewal was d
An Enemy of the People is ‘not welcome’ in China
A 136-year-old play about one man’s fight against the establishment has been canceled in China, news reports say, after an interactive scene had audience members expressing criticism of the Chinese government.    Berlin-based theater company Schaubühne’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s play “An Enemy of the People” was in the first of a three-night run at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts last Thursday. German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that a scene in which the audience was encouraged to shout out why they sympathized with the play’s protagonist, who was being silenced by the authorities for insisting on the truth about poisoned water, led to the audience yelling st
More and more, overseas Chinese fear the long arm of Beijing
When I received an invitation from the East–West Center to co-host a panel discussion during its International Media Conference last month in Singapore, on the current status of press freedom in China, I expected some confrontation from the audience. But I was certainly not prepared for what actually took place at the event. As the panel concluded, a woman in the audience, without raising her hand to request permission from the moderator to speak, started to shout at me: “What’s your nationality? Are you Chinese? What university did you study at?” The seemingly irrelevant questions baffled the audience. She then identified herself as a professor at one of the “top universities” in China, an