China shuts down liberal website

2013-01-04 14:01
(Picture: <a href="">Shutterstock</a>)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - A liberal Chinese journal had its website shut down on Friday, it said, after it urged the country's Communist leaders - who regularly promise reform - to follow the constitution.

The website of Annals of the Yellow Emperor, a prominent Beijing-based publication, was closed days after it published an article arguing that China's constitution lays out a roadmap for political change.

Attempts to access the website on Friday led to a page with a cartoon policeman holding up a badge and the message: "The website you are visiting has been closed because it has not been filed on record."

The move follows a similar call in a key liberal newspaper being censored by the authorities.

Chinese liberals argue that rights enshrined in the constitution, including freedom of speech, press and assembly, are not respected by the ruling Communist party.

"At around 09:00 today [Friday], the website was closed," said a post on the Annals of the Yellow Emperor's official web page on Sina Weibo, a website similar to Twitter.

The journal's editors received a message from Internet regulator the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last month stating that the website had been "cancelled", the post said.

The ministry did not immediately respond to faxed questions sent by AFP on Friday.

The website closure came a day after censors blocked an article from popular liberal newspaper Southern Weekly which called for the realisation of a "dream of constitutionalism in China" so that citizens' rights could be protected.

A propaganda official in Guangdong province, where the newspaper is based, removed the article and replaced it with a weaker message, said several current and former journalists at the newspaper.

The official, Tuo Zhen, "directed that many alterations and replacements be made to the New Year's special edition. This resulted in numerous errors and accidents", former Southern Weekly journalists said in an open letter posted online.

All Chinese media organisations are subject to orders from government propaganda departments, which often suppress news seen as "negative" by the Communist party, although some publications take a more critical stance.

China was the 174 lowest of 179 countries ranked for press freedom in 2011-12 by the advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, falling three places compared to the previous year.

Read more on:    china  |  media

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.