Foreign affairs magazine shuttered after criticism of North Korea

New York, September 22, 2004—Chinese government authorities have closed the prominent bi-monthly diplomacy journal Zhanlue Yu Guanli (Strategy and Management) after it published an article strongly criticizing the North Korean government and urging a revised strategy in China-North Korea relations, according to international news reports.

Analysts and foreign media initially speculated that the August article, by Tianjin-based economist Wang Zhongwen, reflected a possible shift in Chinese government policy toward North Korea.

Such speculation took a turn, though, when the government clamped down on the journal soon after. The August issue failed to reach many of its subscribers, and the State Press and Publication Administration later ordered the magazine’s closure, according to international news reports.

Editors confirmed that authorities had shut down the journal, but have not named the specific article that precipitated the action, according to Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

Zhanlue Yu Guanli has been a forum for Chinese scholars to examine policy issues since its inception in 1993, and has established a reputation for independent commentary.

Last year, the journal lost its required government sponsorship, making it vulnerable to official censure.

China’s increasingly diverse media are subject to censorship by the State Press and Publication Administration. Byzantine regulations that restrict the press make it possible for authorities to act against publications that do not adhere to evolving political constraints.