Spokesmen still silent as press get greater access

Despite recent promises that government offices would be made more accessible to the , 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 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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