Jonathan Watts: The view from …Beijing

From the Guardian Unlimited: “As China’s newspapers have observed in the run-up to next week’s spring festival, their country and its citizens are on the move like never before. But the events of the past fortnight have proved one feature of national life is still stuck firmly in the communist dark age: draconian censorship of politically sensitive news.

The biggest news story of the month – the death of the former prime minister Zhao Ziyang and the controversy over his funeral arrangements – has been notable by its absence from the Chinese press. Instead this week’s pages have been filled with stories about the comings and goings of a population that has never travelled so widely or spent so freely, about economic growth that accelerated last year to 9.5%, and about figures showing China is now the world’s third-largest trading nation.”



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