Home Current News Pressure mounts on foreign media in China after evacuation of Australian reporters

Pressure mounts on foreign media in China after evacuation of Australian reporters

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Pressure mounts on foreign media in China after evacuation of Australian reportersMichael Smith, a reporter for an Australian newspaper, was jolted from his sleep in his Shanghai apartment last week by six state intelligence officers who questioned him under a bright spotlight. Almost 800 miles away Beijing, meanwhile, as drinks flowed in the middle of a party at his flat, Bill Birtles, correspondent for Australia’s state broadcaster, received an almost identical visit. The message from authorities was the same: pack your bags. Details were sketchy but Mr Smith and Mr Birtles were now ‘persons of interest’ in a case and were subject to an exit ban. The reality is more nuanced. The Australian pair had become the latest journalists to be swept up in the growing animosity between China and the West – casualties of a spiralling row that is now rapidly closing our window into a rising global superpower. A collapse in cordial relations has triggered expulsions of a group of US journalists too and sewed a culture of fear among the shrinking number of foreign reporters left inside. Recalling his interrogation, Mr Smith wrote: “I wondered if … I was about to be ‘disappeared’ to one of China’s notorious black jails.”

Source: yahoo.com/news