Bao Tong gave his first government-approved interview to Reuters, marking a major breakthrough in press freedom that is part of a relaxation of restrictions on foreign journalists in China that started January 1, thanks largely to the upcoming Beijing Olympics.
Human Rights in China president Liu Qing (ÂàòÈùí) welcomed the “loosening up” of China’s press control, but he cautioned, “I think we need to observe how real this kind of loosening up will be.”
“Allowing him to be interviewed itself is a good thing,” Liu said, and he expects the momentum to continue.
U.S.-based sociology scholar Liu Xiaozhu (ÂàòÊôìÁ´π) said that the loosening was mainly for China to atone for its “heart-losing, image-tarnishing” bad deeds over the past couple of years and to address the Chinese government’s “foul reputation” in the international community.
It was learned that the wife of Hada (ÂìàËææ), a prisoned Inner Mongolian dissident, was also interviewed (see CDT post from yesterday). But requests to interview Shanghai lawyer Zheng Enchong (ÈÉëÊÅ©ÂÆ†) were declined.
– Listen to the radio report here