Keith B. Richburg
March 7, 2011
BEIJING – One week after foreign journalists were physically harassed by security officers – and one videographer beaten so badly he was hospitalized – China’s foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, denied the police took part in beating any reporters and said China follows “the rule of law.”
“At the same time we hope that the foreign journalists will abide by the Chinese laws and regulations,” Yang said Monday at a news conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the country’s largely rubber stamp parliament. “There is no such issue as Chinese police officers beating foreign journalists.”
The minister’s denial, contradicted by eyewitness and video accounts, came as China announced new restrictions on foreign journalists working here – essentially repealing the loosened reporting policy put in place at the time of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to showcase China’s more modern, less authoritarian face to the world.