A US-based media watchdog, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), has expressed concern over the new restrictions imposed on journalists in China, saying it undermines the role of media.
“The restrictions made public on Thursday are part of a much larger government crackdown aimed at suppressing criticism of any subject deemed harmful by the government of President Xi Jinping to its own interests,” said Bob Dietz Asia program coordinator of the independent non-profit organisation, alleged.
“It effectively undermines the watchdog role of the media by threatening to punish any journalist or media organisation reporting news that has not been approved by the government,” he said.
If authorities succeed in implementing these restrictions, there will be a significant curtailment of the already limited sphere of free speech in China, he added.
Since it came to power in March 2013, the Xi government has steadily increased pressure on Chinese and international media, CPJ alleged.
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Journalists-including some from Hong Kong-have been jailed, harassed, or expelled, and restrictions on social media tightened.