The Chinese government has stifled media freedoms for decades; imprisoning more journalists than anywhere else in the world; banning social media and non-compliant foreign websites, an resorting to extreme measures to prevent all information about its human rights abuses and unrest getting out, including by routinely locking up anyone who speaks out.
To further efforts to control and censor Chinese Communist Party state media has struck highly lucrative deals with numerous highly regarded news outlets, offering large sums of money for them to carry supplements or ‘advertorials’. These outlets include the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and Sydney Morning Herald.
These supplements or ‘advertorials’ enable the promotion of the Chinese government’s propaganda, which is far factual reporting and includes articles hailing the celebration by Tibetans of “democratic reforms” in occupied Tibet; reports whitewashing the arbitrary detention of at least 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslims in ‘re-education camps’; and stories claiming that the repressive and internationally condemned National Security legislation in Hong Kong will only “better protect” freedoms on the island.
By accepting money from the Chinese government to hold this propaganda, these media outlets are performing as a mouthpiece for Beijing and are complicity in the crackdown on the freedom of Tibetans, Uyghurs,Chinese and all human rights defenders who risk their lives on the frontlines to expose the realities of life under Chinese rule.
Several newspapers have already taken action in recent months – The Daily Telegraph, The New York Times and Washington Post have dropped China Watch from the print and online editions, having run such articles in the past.