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China has remained one of the world’s worst ten countries for press freedom since press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders began publishing its Press Freedom Index in 2002, and this year is no exception.
China is ranked 171st out of 178 countries examined for the yearly survey, above North Korea and Burma but below Cuba, Vietnam and Laos.
The group’s secretary-general Jean-Francois Julliard said there was little difference between the bottom ten, showing that economic development does not necessarily lead to respect for fundamental rights.
The report says the Chinese regime still censors and jails reporters, particularly in the far-western provinces of Tibet and Xinjiang.
Reporters Without Borders calls again for the release of writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo, who was arrested in June last year and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
A Chinese journalist and long-time campaigner for press freedom laws in China, Zan Aizong believes countries without press freedom are trapped in the past.
[Zan Aizong, Chinese Journalist for Oceanic Newspaper]: (first comment in the NTDTV report)
“If the people of a nation cannot enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of the press, then this society is a closed society, a dictator ship. If only the economy is opened up, that is not a society that has opened up. Both the economy and politics must be opened up, and people’s fundamental rights must be guaranteed.”