“China blames foreign reporters for bad press abroad”

It reminds me of American conservatives talking about a vast conspiracy in the media aimed at destroying the Republican party- the Chinese version depicting an all-encompassing cabal of journalists devoting their careers to overthrowing China by reporting what happens inside her borders is just as funny:

Despite investing billions of dollars in “soft power” projects to improve its image abroad, China complains it is still getting a lot of bad press and is pointing the finger at foreign journalists.

Authorities routinely accuse China’s 900 foreign reporters — a record number, accredited to more than 400 media organisations — of covering China in a negative way. The journalists, meanwhile, complain of regular hindrance to their work.

“It is not that China is against critical reporting,” said Wang Chen, minister in charge of the press office at the State Council, China’s cabinet.

“What we don’t accept are double standards based on a Cold War mentality,” he told French ambassador Sylvie Bermann, who had just highlighted the importance of journalists being allowed to report stories on the ground.

Earlier this month, for instance, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) — an illegal organization in the eyes of Chinese authorities — complained about working conditions for reporters in Tibetan-inhabited areas.

Journalists trying to get to areas hit by deadly unrest in Sichuan province were repeatedly turned back by police, and authorities in those regions cut web and phone communications, making reporting on the issue near impossible.

On Thursday, the FCCC also issued a warning to journalists wanting to cover a revolt against local officials by villagers in east China after a Dutch reporter was beaten up by thugs who appeared to be plainclothes police.

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