Under the current regime, China’s violations against its own international commitments to freedom of opinion and expression have tremendously increased.
The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China, a report has revealed the unprecedented campaign of repression led by the Chinese regime in recent years against journalism and the right to information worldwide.
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Particularly, the report finds the regime’s tools of repression against journalists and the deterioration of press freedom in Hong Kong, which was once a model of press freedom but now has an increasing number of journalists arrested in the name of national security.
The report is from the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and has also showed how journalists are being forced to become the Chinese Communist Party (CCP’s) mouthpiece.
To receive and renew their press cards, journalists will soon have to undergo a 90-hour annual training partly focusing on Xi Jinping’s “Thought”. Meanwhile, the Chinese government has also unveiled a series of plans that are seen to further consolidate the CCP’s control over the media.
Beijing has been using media as a significant tool for asserting power and enhancing its narrative in international discourse.
RSF’s secretary-general, Christophe Deloire, said before Xi came to power in 2013, there was an emerging phenomenon of improvements in press freedom, but he had “put a brutal end to this partial opening and restored a media culture worthy of the Maoist era”.
The growing number of “obstacles” to journalism, including online censorship and surveillance, paid amateur propagandists known as the “50 cent army”, increasing use of detention without trial, Hong Kong’s national security law, forced televised confessions, daily instructions from the Communist party to newsrooms and other platforms, use of allegations ranging from “picking quarrels” to espionage to silence journalists, and the weaponizing of exit bans.
China has been bankrolling scholars, journalists, and experts abroad, censoring domestic media while keeping a tab on Chinese Diaspora abroad, The HK Post reported.
Source: Business Standard, The Guardian