It's no secret China has a problem with censorship.
Just this week, the Communist regime effectively ousted a reporter for the Wall Street Journal after he wrote an in-depth story detailing allegations of cousin to Chinese leader Xi Jinping under investigation in Australia for potential laundering of money. ,
Chun Han Wong, a Singapore citizen who has been working for the magazine since 2014, applied to renew his press credentials late last month, but the Chinese government informed the magazine that it would not provide Wong visa, one month after Wong co-authored the Ming Tea report, a naturalized Australian blood relative of Xi. Wong has until Friday to leave the country.
The government did not explain the newspaper, but later told the Washington Post that it would not tolerate reporters that hurt its reputation. And as the Post points out in China, no topic is more taboo than the private wealth and attitudes of senior leaders of the Communist Party, "given the gulf between the ideological rhetoric of the Communist Party and the vast, often hidden wealth accumulated by the elite families as the party turned to state capitalism in the 1
Prior to the publication of the Wong Report Journal Chinese Ministry officials warned that if he continued to write about Xi's personal life, the paper would face unspecified but serious consequences.
"We strongly object to the fact that several foreign reporters are maliciously tarnishing China and we do not welcome such reporters," a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
Given Xi's public image as a leader ready to wage a war against party corruption, it is no wonder that his relative's cronyism would not be associated with him. But the routine expulsion of journalists from the party, combined with the consolidation of Xi's power, signaled a return to a more authoritarian era in China.
China's relationship with the press has always been marked by tension, but it is deteriorating. Several journalists have been banned from the country, such as BuzzFeed News reporter Mega Rajagopalan, who detailed the routine detention of Muslims in the country's western Xinjiang region. Entire news agencies, such as Bloomberg News, were also blocked in 2012 when it published a report revealing the Xi family's investments.
So far, Chinese censorship has had little effect on the outside world. For the most part, its suppression remains internal matter. Xi has limited access to information in her own country, slowly increasing her grip on the daily lives of her citizens. Social media is being monitored and Internet firewalls are preventing users from accessing foreign reports on the Chinese Communist Party's internal affairs unless they have access to a working VPN.
But authoritarianism is impossible to limit. If the contradictions of Xi continue to develop, the foreign press in China will become obsolete and Chinese citizens will lose all access to the outside world. It's almost as if Xi is making notes from her next neighbor, Kim Jong Un.