One of China’s most respected current affairs magazines has lashed out at Communist party censorship of its work, just weeks after the president, Xi Jinping, demanded absolute loyalty from his country’s media.

An article on Caixin’s English-language website on Tuesday claimed the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) – which it labelled a “government censorship organ” – had ordered the removal of an interview posted on its Chinese-language website that focused on the issue of free speech.

In the purged interview, a prominent Shanghai academic and government adviser called Jiang Hong argued that advisers such as himself should “be free to give Communist party and government agencies suggestions on economic, political, cultural and societal issues”.

However, Caixin claimed that the CAC, Beijing’s internet watchdog, had taken exception to the article, alleging it contained “illegal content”.

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