China Denies Allegations of Harassment of Journalists

K J M Varma/Beijing
China Denies Allegations of Harassment of Journalists
China today brushed aside suggestions of tensions in the country following anonymous Internet postings calling for Arab-style "Jasmine" uprisings as well police carrying out harassment of foreign journalists.

"I haven't noticed any signs of tension," Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told reporters at a briefing at China's annual parliamentary session.

"What I have seen is that the Chinese people had a joyful Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival. Now we are busy doing our work, focusing our attention on pursuing domestic development," he said.

China has been on the edge following widespread uprisings in North Africa and Middle East and has placed restrictions on foreign journalists attempting to follow proposed public protests listed anonymously on Internet.

Yang said that no foreign reporters were beaten up by police while trying to move to cover listed protests and told the media personnel that they should abide by Chinese laws and regulations in reporting activities in the country.

"China is a country under the rule of law, and we abide by the law. We have always followed relevant laws and regulations in managing the affairs related to foreign journalists in China," he said.

Asked about the allegations that some foreign journalists have been beaten up in Beijing and Shanghai, the foreign minister said "there are no such issues."

"We don't want to see anyone make something out of thin air," Yang said, acknowledging that the road ahead for China will not be smooth.

"But we have the confidence and determination that we will be able to overcome the difficulties on the way ahead under the correct leadership of the Communist Party Committee Central Committee and the State Council," he said.
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