May 28, 2024

Press Freedom


China April 15, 2010

H.E. Hu Jintao, President
People’s Republic of China
Fax: ( 512.5810

H.E. Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister
People’s Republic of China
Fax: ( 512.5810

Your Excellencies:

We write to protest recent cases of censorship and cyber-attacks on the Chinese Internet, and to urge your government to permit freedom of communication in China.

According to our colleagues at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF), several foreign journalists based in China have reported that their Yahoo! e-mail accounts have been compromised by hacker attacks.  The Chinese version of Google’s search engine, which is now based in Hong Kong, has been intermittently censored in recent weeks, and the Web site of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China had to be shut down earlier this month because it was overwhelmed by denial-of-service attacks.  Access to Google’s mobile phone services also has been partially blocked since March 28.  

Your censors have even tried to limit coverage of Google’s decision to stop cooperating with censorship, close down its search engine in China and move the operation to Hong Kong.  RSF reports that documents obtained by Chinese human rights defenders show that website editors were instructed by the State Council’s Information Bureau to “use only articles from official media” and “not carry out any investigative reporting” into the story.  They were also told to “ban discussions about Google” and “not use press releases and information coming from Google.”

Your Excellencies, these abuses of the Internet are illegal under Chinese law and create a hostile atmosphere for foreign journalists operating in your country.  The Overseas Press Club of America, which has defended press freedom around the world for seventy years, urges you to rein in your censors, crack down on cyber-attacks from whatever source, and encourage the free communication that can only speed China’s phenomenal ascent in economic and political influence.

Respectfully yours,

Larry Martz   
Kevin McDermott
Co-chairs – Freedom of the Press Committee
H.E. Zhou Wenzhong
Ambassador to the U.S.A.
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
2300  Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20008
Fax: (202) 966.0631

Ambassador Zhang Yesui
Permanent Representative
Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China
             to the United Nations
350 East 35 Street
New York, NY  10016
Fax: (212) 634.7626

H.E. Jon Huntsman
U.S. Ambassador to the P.R.O.C.
Embassy of the United States of America
No. 55 An Jia Lou Lu
100600  Beijing
Fax: ( 532.6929

China Daily
No. 15 Dongjie, Chaoyang District
Beijing  100029
Fax: ( 84.88.36