. China News .

Hong Kong leader under fire over press freedom
by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) Feb 7, 2013

Child moons China's premier-to-be
Beijing (AFP) Feb 7, 2013 - State media coverage of a routine visit to a home by China's incoming premier Li Keqiang has become a colourful Internet sensation after a boy appeared on camera half-naked.

Internet users were on Thursday circulating the CCTV state television footage from the northern city of Baotou, cheering the rare unplanned blip in usually staid government-controlled coverage of officials' tightly scripted trips.

Li -- who is set to be promoted to national premier next month -- was speaking with the man of the house in a modest bedroom when the boy popped out of a wardrobe behind them not wearing any underwear.

He quickly ducked under the blanket of a bed, exposing his buttocks to the cameras as he did so.

"The kid was having fun as if there was nothing special going on in front of him, it was amusing," said one Internet user going by the name Hongtailang. "It is rare to see this kind of image on TV."

State television regularly reports on the public appearances of senior leaders as part of a vast propaganda effort controlled by the ruling Communist Party.

"It's so nice when things are spontaneous and true!" said another user.

Journalists in Hong Kong accused the city's leader of cracking down on free speech Thursday after he demanded an apology from a newspaper which suggested he had triad connections.

Following a legal letter from Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, the daily Hong Kong Economic Journal published a special notice in Thursday's edition, stating that its columnist had written the article "in the public interest".

"If this piece has caused inconvenience to readers or caused readers to arrive at an unfair conclusion about Mr. Leung, then the newspaper apologises," it said.

But HKEJ chief editor Chan King-cheung later vented his fury at the government's interference and said the newspaper would not be retracting the story, the South China Morning Post reported.

"Free speech is a value highly treasured in Hong Kong and we feel it would be a bad thing for Hong Kong if this incident has a silencing effect on the media," Chan told the SCMP, saying he was shocked and disappointed.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association joined in the criticism, saying Leung's move could have a "chilling effect on press freedom".

Chan said his newspaper had received the letter from Leung's solicitor last week demanding an apology and the retraction of the article.

The HKEJ column suggested there were signs that Leung had links to triad gangs after they were reportedly seen paying participants at a pro-government rally, according to the SCMP.

It is the second time in two weeks that Leung, widely seen as influenced by Beijing, has come under fire over press freedoms.

Last week local and foreign journalists slammed a government plan to restrict access to information about company directors, after details were used in a series of investigative reports exposing the wealth of Chinese officials.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association said in a statement: "It is inappropriate for Mr. Leung to jump in with threats of legal action before even responding to the commentary so as to allow for a rational discussion of the issues."

Leung defended his actions, insisting that he respected press freedoms.

"I have all along respected freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Nevertheless, the article contains serious allegations which accused me of having relation with triad society. The matter has to be taken seriously," he said in a statement.

The chief executive's office refused to comment when asked by AFP if they planned to pursue legal action against the paper.

Leung was chosen to lead the southern Chinese city by a pro-Beijing committee in March, promising to improve governance and uphold the rule of law in the former British colony of seven million people.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 as a semi-autonomous territory with its own political and legal system that guarantees civil liberties not seen on the mainland, including freedom of speech and association.


Related Links
China News from SinoDaily.com

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


US envoy cautious over hopes for China reforms
Hong Kong (AFP) Feb 5, 2013
The US ambassador to China expressed caution Tuesday over hopes for reform under Beijing's new leadership and said the mainland should turn to Hong Kong for inspiration. Gary Locke told an economic conference in Hong Kong that the US-China relationship remains "fundamentally very, very strong" but said the world's second-largest economy could only benefit from further liberalisation. "Ho ... read more

Kerry to meet Canadian FM in first bilateral talks

Trade secrets theft linked to ex-employees: study

Chinese make record foreign investments in 2012: PwC

Google wins Australian sponsored links case

How plant communities endure stress

Chocolate not yet China's cup of tea

Minnesota cancels moose season

How plants sense gravity - a new look at the roles of genetics and the cytoskeleton

Ghana extradites ex-military chief to I. Coast: security

Sudan president in Eritrea after Asmara mutiny: reports

Central African rebels warn president over peace deal

DR Congo peace deal signing cancelled: UN

Japan's Suzuki sees April-December net profit rise 19%

Japan's Mazda swings back to profit

China auto sales hit record in January: industry group

GM says China monthly sales set record in January

World's First AP1000 Containment Vessel Top Head Ready

Westinghouse Commits To Czech Steel For AP1000 Plants At Temelin

Centrica makes U-turn on British nuclear plant plan

Fukushima operator TEPCO projects $1.29 bn year net loss

EU considers cybercrime reporting plan

Hacker 'botnet' hijacked online searches: Microsoft

US lawmakers propose password privacy bill

US Energy Department was hacking victim

Japan PM says China dialogue window must stay open

Two Russian fighters breach Japanese airspace

White House demands quick Senate action on Hagel

US spy chief warns cuts will hurt morale

Mainstream Renewable Power Starts Building Wind Farm in Chile

Hgcapital And Blue Energy Agree UK Wind Farm Investment Deal

Sabotage may have felled U.K. wind turbine

Japan plans world's largest wind farm

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement