China lodges formal complaint against CNN

China has lodged a formal complaint against U.S. television network CNN for what it called a vicious attack by one of its commentators who labelled the Chinese as "goons" and their products as "junk".

China lodges formal complaint against CNN
In a statement late on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao condemned the comments by Jack Cafferty on CNN's The Situation Room programme and demanded the network apologise.

"Those in the field of journalism should abide by their morals. They don't have the privilege to rail against or slander other people or other governments," Liu said in the statement posted on the ministry's website (www.fmprc.gov.cn).

CNN has already said it did not mean to cause offence with Cafferty's remarks and clarified that the commentator was offering his opinion of the Chinese government, not the country's people, but the Foreign Ministry said that was not good enough.

CNN's motive was to "mislead public opinion" and "deceive the Chinese people", Liu said.

"We once again solemnly urge CNN and Cafferty to retract the vile remarks and make a sincere apology to the Chinese people," he said.

Cafferty had said the United States imported Chinese-made "junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food", adding: "They're basically the same bunch of goons and thugs they've been for the last 50 years."

The anger at CNN is the latest in a wave of criticism in China of Western news organisations which state media, the government and a chorus of bloggers accuse of running distorted and biased reports of the recent unrest in Tibet.

A commentary in the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said Cafferty's remarks were indicative of a general bias in Western media covering Tibet, where days of marches widened into a citywide riot on March 14.

Media reports had termed violent attacks as peaceful protests and turned violent criminals into people whose human rights had been violated, coverage that "lays bare the discrimination and hostility behind their "objective impartiality".

"Sixty years after World War Two, in a global media programme, to go so far as to nakedly slander a race and openly propagate racism makes people shocked and outraged," the commentary said.

China has blocked foreign reporters from visiting Tibet, with the exception of one small, guided visit, and security personnel have sealed off ethnic Tibetan areas of its western provinces, where anti-government demonstrations have also been held.

The Committee to Protect Journalists urged China to release or publicly charge ethnic Tibetan television producer Jamyang Kyi, who was arrested on April 1 in the western province of Qinghai and who it said had not been seen since April 7.

"The detention of a prominent television producer at a time when the flow of information in and out of Tibetan regions is so rigidly controlled is very concerning, particularly as the Beijing Olympics approach," the New York-based group's Asia programme coordinator, Bob Dietz, said in a statement.

The Games open in Beijing on Aug. 8.

Reuters
Last Mod: 17 Nisan 2008, 11:38
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