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14:56 Jul 10 2009

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From riot in Tibet to Xinjiang: Western media's bias against China continues
14:28, July 10, 2009  


Foregin journalists in Xinjiang. (Xinhua Photo)


Foreign media has paid particular attention to the eruption of violent crime involving beating, smashing, looting and burning in Xinjiang on July 5, and reporters from over 60 foreign media agencies have arrived in the region.

Foreign media praises the transparency and opening of Xinjiang

Some foreign media reporters arrived at Urumqi as early as the afternoon of July 6. To their surprise, the local government had already set up a news center for them. The news center is open around the clock, offering 50 free Internet access points to facilitate online news reporting by domestic and foreign reporters. Meanwhile, professional technicians are providing relevant services.

General Director of the NHK General Bureau for China told Beijing-based International Pioneer Post that the Chinese government has been very open and achieved significant progress. ABC News has also dispatched a special group to Urumqi. The chief reporter with the ABC News Beijing office Chito Romana told International Pioneer Post that the dispatched reporters were free to conduct interviews in Urumqi and there is even a special news center to receive foreign reporters offering accommodation and Internet access.

Chinese media reports are widely quoted

Romana added that this is the first time that China Central Television (CCTV) reports have been broadcast worldwide. Because the Chinese media quickly and fully reported the incident, ABC News has used a large amount of video information from CCTV and Xinhua News Agency.

Reporters noted that the foreign media has quoted numerous Chinese media reports in their own reports. Some foreign media even used latest news from Xinhua News Agency in their entire news clips. This situation is very different from the reports on the "3.14" riot in Tibet.

Western media bias can still be seen everywhere

"Although the keynote of July 5 reports by foreign media has improved to some extent, bias still exists," said Phoenix Satellite Television commentator Lawrence Ho who has been following the situation in Urumqi for several days.

Although foreign media has quoted some Chinese government and Chinese media viewpoints in their reports, some extensively covered the viewpoints of overseas East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) separatist forces.

Western mainstream media agencies including CNN from the US and the BBC from the UK all interviewed the World Uyghur Congress' spokesperson in the US. This spokesperson falsely claimed that the violent riots were "peaceful demonstrations" and said that they were "cruelly suppressed." This statement has been widely quoted by foreign media.

Even US netizens do not accept it

Some biased reports from Western media have even triggered strong dissatisfaction among Western readers.

A US netizen called "xxxwater" questioned a New York Times report from Urumqi on July 7, asking why the dead and property losses caused by the riots were not reported. Does this mean lives are not important? Do you have a family, brothers and sisters? If your wife or husband was killed, could you still call it "peaceful demonstrations?"

Janet, a New York citizen who grew up in Xinjiang, left an angry comment in response to the New York Times report saying that this was not a "peaceful demonstration." The New York Times should do more research and not release this kind of false report. After reading the report, a French citizen living in Shanghai said that he is disappointed in the Western media.

"The prejudice shown in Western media reports is hard to eliminate in a short time,” said Ho of Phoenix TV.

International Herald Leader contributes to this story

By People's Daily Online

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