China Tells Foreign Journalists to Respect Rules after Scuffles at Non-protest
After several foreign journalists reported being harassed or beaten while covering the Jasmine Protests in Beijing, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson has in turn blamed the journalists for “running into trouble.” From the Guardian:
Pressed on Sunday’s attacks on Wangfujing, a popular shopping street, the foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular briefing: “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.”
She added: “That place is a busy street, the flow of people is large and not a single thing was happening. Who did so many reporters receive a notice from [to attend]?”
She said reporters had ignored police instructions to request permission before reporting there. But police rang only some journalists and some of those said they had been told only to obey reporting regulations.
“The police provided reasonable guidance, and the journalists should understand and co-operate,” Jiang said. “If both sides take this attitude, we can minimise the occurrence of such incidents.”
Mother Jones has an extensive post on the “Jasmine Revolution” which has been steadily updated with new developments and an array of related links and videos. The New York Times presents several perspectives on China’s vulnerability or otherwise to Jasmine-scented unrest, while Global Voices Online has translated a number of tweets on the subject:
The police officer said that even if this is a joke, it’s still being taken seriously. I laughed and said: You might get a bunch of police heading there only to discover another bunch of police already there, all dressed up as netizens. If they start fighting, then you get your Jasmine revolution. The officer gave a bitter smile.