Censorship protest flare up at liberal Chinese newspaper

By REUTERS
January 8, 2013 11:36




GUANGZHOU, China - Chinese police broke up scuffles outside the gates of a prominent newspaper in southern Guangzhou on Tuesday, as Communist Party authorities showed signs of a taking a harder line against journalists defying official censorship.

Crowds of people congregated for a second day outside the liberal Southern Weekly that has become embroiled in a highly symbolic open revolt against press control in Guangdong, China's most prosperous and liberal province, but many journalists were reluctant to call it a full-blown strike.

Guangdong was the birthplace of reforms, begun three decades ago, that propelled China to become the world's second-largest economy. How the party responds to the paper's battle against meddling by propaganda authorities stands to be a key indicator of new party leader Xi Jinping's reformist inclinations.

The scuffles broke out after supporters of the paper, published on Thursdays, jeered and skirmished with a small band of leftists holding posters of Chairman Mao Zedong and signs denouncing the Southern Weekly as "a traitor newspaper" for defying the party.


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