English Audience Gets Firsthand Look at Press Control in China
(Minghui.org) The security by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at Tiananmen Square far exceeded anything the world could imagine, especially during the first few years that Falun Gong practitioners were persecuted. There were three groups of people that were seen at Tiananmen Square at that time. One third of the people were visitors, another third were practitioners, and the last third were the police who were mainly dressed in plainclothes. Although dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of practitioners protested there every day, most of them were arrested. Even today, the regime will raise the alert level when there is a special activity. An example of this occurred during the “two conferences” (National Congress and the Political Consultative Conference) when the police arrested foreign reporters.
On March 15, 2013, Mark Stone, a reporter from the British Sky News was ordered by police to stop reporting during his live broadcast back to the UK, simply because he had mentioned the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstration. Mr. Stone indicated that he had a permit to take videos at Tiananmen Square, but the police ignored him and forced him and his photographer into a police car.
The police did not realize that they were on live TV. British citizens watched as the police disregarded the law and took illegal actions. Mr. Stone reported: “I am still in the police van and should be leaving in just a second. This is a rather surreal experience, which gives you a little insight of what can happen in China.” This scene was vividly displayed in front of British audiences.
The strict censorship of media in China was not only an eye opener for British citizens, but was also an interesting event for Chinese citizens. The Chinese people have been deceived by the regime for too long. Because the CCP threatens and brainwashes its people, the Chinese have been compelled to follow a path laid out by it. It is sad that people live their entire life believing the lies of the regime and are sometimes led to do things that harm good people.
When the police stopped the British reporters they told them: “Chinese laws require that a person needs to have a permit to report. To continue with your report, you need to get a photographer’s permit.” As a matter of fact, all reporters at Tiananmen Square need a permit. They could not have been there if they didn’t have a permit.
Of course, there are exceptions. When the regime wants something to be reported, they will pre-arrange everything. Then reporters will be invited to attend and they do not need permits. The police will accommodate them in every way they can.
One example is the self-immolation incident that was staged at Tiananmen Square by the CCP to frame Falun Gong practitioners. One can see from the video that the police did not seem to be in a rush to put out the fire although they were holding a fire-retardant blanket next to Wang Jindong, a person who had just self-immolated. The blanket the police were holding hung still, making it pretty obvious that he was posing for the camera.
Li Yuqiang was the man responsible for reporting the self-immolation case. In early 2002, Li was “meeting” with practitioners at the Shijiazhuang Brainwashing Center in Hebei Province. When questioned by practitioners about their suspicions involving the incident, particularly the fact that the Sprite bottle filled with gasoline held in-between Wang Jindong’s legs was intact while Wang’s clothes were all charred, Li was forced to admit that the bottle was put there by others. The video was taken after the fact. Li said he would not have taken any video if he had known people would realize the truth.
When asked if the self-immolation was known about beforehand and that reporters were arranged, the regime claimed that the video was taken by CNN. But CNN International personnel immediately denied this claim. They said they had reporters on site, but the police controlled their people and equipment. There was no way that the CNN reporters could have taken the videos.
Only the CCP designated photographers were allowed to video the Tiananmen Square self-immolation, and everything had been pre-arranged. This indicates that the police knew about the self-immolation before it happened.
Most Chinese people know that anytime there is an incident anywhere that is unfavorable to the regime, the police will seize the camera equipment if they can. At Tiananmen Square, where security control is tight, this is especially true.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has always denied that news censorship exists in China. But the British reporters have exposed their lies. Live coverage of British reporters allowed the world to see the extent of the control over the media, and indirectly exposed the lies they have told to the Chinese people all along.