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China tightens media controls amid protest calls
Question of the Day
“That place is a busy street, the flow of people is large, and not a single thing was happening. Who did so many reporters receive a notice from?” Ms. Jiang asked.
She would not say whether similar restrictions would be placed on other public spaces in the future.
Despite promises to loosen regulations before and during the Olympics, foreign journalists were blocked from covering potential protests and were forcibly taken away from some areas.
An AP cameraman who had been granted local police permission to film Wangfujing on Tuesday still was barred from approaching the spot in front of McDonald’s where protesters had been told to gather over the weekend. A police officer said it was off limits for filming because of street repairs and construction, though none was visible.
It wasn’t clear how many people, if any, tried to protest in Beijing on Sunday. Security was tight with hundreds of plainclothes and uniformed police patrolling the area. Street-cleaning trucks drove repeatedly up Wangfujing, spraying water to keep crowds pressed to the edges.
Also Sunday, police near Shanghai’s People's Square blew shrill whistles nonstop to keep people moving.
Online posts of unknown origin that first circulated on an overseas Chinese news website nearly two weeks ago have called for Chinese to gather peacefully at sites every Sunday in a show of people power meant to promote fairness and democracy. A renewed call Monday expanded the target cities to 35 from 27. China’s extensive Internet filtering and monitoring mean that most Chinese are unaware of the appeals.
Associated Press writer Alexa Olesen contributed to this report.
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