: President Xi Jinping, in office since March 2013.
How censorship works
: For more than a decade, China has been among the top three jailers
of journalists in the world, a distinction that it is unlikely to lose any time soon. Document 9
, a secret white paper dated April 22, 2014, which was widely leaked online and to the international press, included the directive to “combat seven political perils” and reject the concept of “universal values” and the promotion of “the West’s view of media.” Document 9 made it clear that the role of the media is to support the party’s unilateral rule. The paper reasserted the necessity for China’s technological and human censors to be ever more vigilant when keeping watch over the country’s 642 million
Internet users-about 22 percent of the world’s online population. In late November 2014, Xu Xiao, a poetry and arts editor for the Beijing-based business magazine Caixin
, was detained
on suspicion of “endangering national security.” The Central Propaganda Department warned editors not to report on the investigation into Xu, raising fears that the tactics used to stifle political dissent would broaden to publications looking critically at the arts. International journalists trying to work in China have faced obstacles
, with visas delayed or denied. Although some visa restrictions between the U.S. and China have eased, during a press conference in Beijing with U.S. President Barack Obama in November 2014 Xi argued
that international journalists facing visa restrictions had brought the trouble on themselves.
: Gao Yu, one of 44 journalists behind bars in China, was detained on charges of illegally providing state secrets abroad, days after details of Document 9 appeared in Mirror Monthly
, a Chinese-language political magazine in New York. Gao, 70, confessed
on official state broadcaster CCTV, but during her closed trial, on November 21, 2014, she said that the confession was false and made only to prevent her son from being threatened and harassed, her lawyer said.