Spokesmen still silent as press get greater access

Despite recent promises that government offices would be made more accessible to the media, the South China Morning Post has found that in practice it is still as difficult as ever to talk to officials in China. After calling a list of spokespeople provided to media by the State Council Information Office, almost none of them were willing to talk: “A spokesman for State Development Planning Commission official Cao Yushu told the Post to first send a fax with interview topics and questions. ‘I am a subordinate and our director [Mr Cao] is out at a meeting,’ the spokesman said.

‘Since you are a Hong Kong news service, we must pass your fax on and confer with the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. Then we will inform you after our leaders make a decision about whether to accept the interview or not. I am not sure when we can tell you about that decision.'” The full story is here.

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