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China journalist slams state TV for airing coerced public confession

Window cleaners stand on a platform hanging from the front of the CCTV (China Central Television) building on a sunny day in central Beijing

Window cleaners stand on a platform hanging from the front of the CCTV (China Central Television) building on a sunny day in central Beijing

A producer for China’s state broadcaster CCTV said on Monday that he had been fired after he criticised the network’s role in a controversial crackdown on online rumours.

Wang Qinglei made the statement in an open letter, which has since been scrubbed from Chinese social media.

He took issue with China Central Television‘s airing of a confession by Chinese-American venture capitalist Charles Xue in which he said he irresponsibly spread gossip online.

CCTV often airs confessions by thieves, prostitutes and other petty criminals, but in recent months, a string of high-profile suspects have confessed to crimes on air, often wearing handcuffs and jumpsuits.

Critics say public confessions deprive the accused of the right to a fair trial.

Wang echoed this criticism in his letter, saying that while fighting legitimate gossip is laudable, the media should not decide who is innocent or guilty.

Critics say China’s campaign against online rumours is nothing more than censorship. Several well-known commentators have been caught in the crackdown, and high-profile microbloggers have said they are more reticent to post for fear of repercussions.

“The news media is not a court,” Wang said. “What authority do we have to meddle with the law to judge who’s a Big V and what is a rumour?”

Big Vs are users of China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo microblog who have accumulated a large number of followers, and who have come under specific scrutiny from authorities in the anti-rumour campaign. Xue had 12 million followers on Weibo.

CCTV essentially prosecuted Xue by airing his confession, Wang said.

Police have used the crackdown on gossip as a pretext to go after cases they could not have easily tackled before, he added.

“Local public security authorities, in cases where there was no obvious legal or judicial basis, would use all kinds of charges to crack down on ‘rumours’,” his letter says.

A top internet official said last week the crackdown on rumours was a resounding success at “cleaning” the internet and emphasised that it was China’s prerogative to ban online speech it views as threatening domestic stability.

Courts in China answer to the ruling Communist Party. It is unusual for those accused of crimes – particularly in politicised cases – to have a fair trial or to be found not guilty.

Source: Reuters – China journalist slams state TV for airing public confession

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee



  1. Pingback: Mans “confesses” in first public trial of China’s rumour crackdown | China Daily Mail - April 13, 2014

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