United States officials drew praise from human rights groups following their strong public response to a decision by China’s censors to cut access to a story on financial dealings by relations of Xi Jingping, who is expected to be China’s next president.
As soon as the story, written by Bloomberg News, was censored State Department officials calledl on the Chinese Government to ”respect internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms on the Internet, including freedom of expression.”
The U.S. based group Human Rights First which is part of a world wide association pushing for freedom of expression and online access praised the reaction
“This incident clearly illustrates the challenges even large, mainstream news outlets face from ongoing Chinese censorship and control of the Internet,”said Human Rights First’s Meg Roggensack. ”
The administration’s public response to China’s censorship of these financial sites is a welcome step. Business needs the support of their home governments as they continue to navigate the tricky waters of operating in nations that fail to respect freedom of expression and other basic human rights.
According to news reports, China blocked the sites after Bloomberg published an investigative article about the financial dealings of those related to Xi Jingping, who is expected to be China’s next president. The Washington Post reports that “Chinese officials have recently ratcheted up restrictions on and repression of dissidents and journalists ahead of this year’s key meeting of the 18th Party Congress and scheduled top leadership changes.”