China closes liberal website after reform call

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BEIJING–A liberal Chinese journal had its website shut down Friday, it said, after it urged the country’s Communist leaders — who regularly promise reform — to follow the constitution.

The website of Annals of the Yellow Emperor, a prominent Beijing-based publication, was closed days after it published an article arguing that China’s constitution lays out a roadmap for political change.

Attempts to access the website Friday led to a page with a cartoon policeman holding up a badge and the message: “The website you are visiting has been closed because it has not been filed on record.”

The move follows a similar call in a key liberal newspaper being censored by the authorities.

Chinese liberals argue that rights enshrined in the constitution, including freedom of speech, press and assembly, are not respected by the ruling Communist party.

“At around nine am today, the website was closed,” said a post on the Annals of the Yellow Emperor’s official web page on Sina Weibo, a website similar to Twitter.

The journal’s editors received a message from Internet regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last month stating that the website had been “cancelled”, the post said.

The ministry did not immediately respond to faxed questions sent by AFP on Friday.

The website closure came a day after censors blocked an article from popular liberal newspaper Southern Weekly which called for the realization of a “dream of constitutionalism in China” so that citizens’ rights could be protected.

A propaganda official in Guangdong province, where the newspaper is based, removed the article and replaced it with a weaker message, said several current and former journalists at the newspaper.

The official, Tuo Zhen, “directed that many alterations and replacements be made to the New Year’s special edition. This resulted in numerous errors and accidents”, former Southern Weekly journalists said in an open letter posted online.

All Chinese media organizations are subject to orders from government propaganda departments, which often suppress news seen as “negative” by the Communist party, although some publications take a more critical stance.

China was the 174 lowest of 179 countries ranked for press freedom in 2011-12 by the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, falling three places compared to the previous year.

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  • rayingga

     Here in the Phil. may freedom of speech and press akala nyo lang wala dahil maraming hinahanap ang iba.Marami pa ngang nag popost ng comments na gumagamit ng mga malalaswang salita. Sana lang macensored ng moderator ang mga di kanais-nais na wordings.

  • truth_will_set_us_free

    CHINA’S COMMUNIST PARTY DOES NOT TOLERATE CHALLENGES TO ITS AUTHORITY AND HAS BRUTALLY CRACKED DOWN ON RELIGIOUS GROUPS THAT REFUSE TO TOE THE PARTY LINE, INCLUDING THE BUDDHIST-INSPIRED FALUN GONG, WHICH WAS BANNED IN THE LATE 1990S.

  • truth_will_set_us_free

    I’M NOT SURPRISED. COMMUNISM IS A KIND OF SOCIALISM WITH A GUN POINTED BEHIND  YOU.

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    ito ang achille’s heel
    ng intsik switik

    1. internet
    2. liberal ideas
    3. winner take all elections
    4. opium ulit
    5. tibet non-han taiwan

  • marivon

    To the Chinese liberals – Good luck. You need every luck to convince Hu and Wen that ordinary Chinese citizens are people too, not only the members of their pulot buro

  • kilabot

    noykapon is closer to doing this. closing everything he perceives a threat except his own mouth.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3RMNEZCQQHXWOQRXJROQ2CORFU Homer Guo

    sa pinas naman minsan nasosobrahan na ang freedom of the press at marami ng irresponsible “journalists”

  • Philcruz

    #174 out of 179 ? That is only 5 rungs from the bottom of the heap !

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AR3F3RNQX4U3PKBI526NJI6BYM Jose

    To the Chinese liberals, good luck! Keep the fire burning!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

    Kung di nga nasusunod ng China ang kanilang constitution lalo na ang International law. walstik tlaga ang bansang to. kaya damay ang Pinas dahil magkatabi. Kung puedi sana mailipat ang kontenente ng China sa Antartica para solo nila lahat.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

    Mga 50 cents cg tira na kayo. Malaya kasi kayo dito sa Pinas at sa U.S kaya mga gamay Uten, Pokpok Daisy, V.N Arches, Chito na balasubas. Saan na kayo banat na! Depend China laban sa Chinese este sa mga kayumaomao.

  • truth_will_set_us_free

    THE 50 CENTS ARE NO WHERE TO FIND BECAUSE THEY CAN NOT DEFEND THIS ISSUE.

  • truth_will_set_us_free

    WHERE ARE THE CHINESE TROLLS?

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