tirsdag 31. mai 2022

Outcry as China stops Pacific journalists questioning Wang Yi

Journalists covering the Chinese foreign minister’s tour of the Pacific say they have been blocked from filming or accessing events, and that not a single question from a Pacific journalist has been allowed to be asked of Wang Yi. The allegations raise serious press freedom concerns and alarm about the ability of Pacific journalists to do their jobs, particularly as the relationship between the region and China becomes closer. Wang is midway through a marathon trip visiting eight countries in 10 days. He has held bilateral meetings in Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji to date, with trips to Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste to come.

At each stop, Wang has signed bilateral deals but he is yet to take a single question from a Pacific journalist, who are instructed at the beginning of the press conferences that no questions will be permitted. Lice Movono, a Fijian journalist who has written for the Guardian, said that during the Fiji leg of the tour she witnessed multiple attempts by Chinese officials to limit journalists’ ability to cover the event.

“From the very beginning there was a lot of secrecy, no transparency, no access given,” she said.