China Tracks Foreign Journalists

The New York Times reports and provides more details about the recent harassment of foreign journalists in China:

On Sunday, about a dozen European and Japanese journalists in Shanghai were herded into an underground bunker-like room and kept for two hours after they sought to monitor the response to calls on an anonymous Internet site for Chinese citizens to conduct a “strolling” protest against the government outside the Peace Cinema, near Peace Square in Shanghai.

In Beijing, several plainclothes officers planted themselves on Saturday night outside the home of a Bloomberg News correspondent who was severely beaten by security officers the previous week as he sought to cover a similar Internet-inspired protest there. In a telephone interview, the correspondent said that seven officers in two separate cars had trailed him to a basketball game on Sunday, recording his trip on video the entire time.

A dozen other foreign journalists based in Beijing, as well as their researchers and photographers, were visited in their homes over the weekend and repeatedly warned not to cause trouble — or, as one officer put it, try to “topple the party.”

The intimidation of foreign journalists is a marked shift for the Chinese authorities and a sign of the government’s resolve to head off any antigovernment revolts like those that have swept the Middle East and North Africa during the past two months.

Read more about foreign journalists in China via CDT.