Before the Olympic storm

The fear:

A Western journalist set to cover the upcoming Beijing Olympics games said recently that he is concerned that communist authorities will crack down and arrest reporters who cover social repression in the country.

Francesco Liello, China correspondent for La Gazetta dello Sport of Italy and the first reporter credentialed for the games told a recent conference he is concerned about coverage.

Liello has already been arrested for working on a story about alleged doping of young Chinese athletes and said he fears overzealous authorities could ruin what otherwise promises to be a spectacular event.

The fightback:

From forcing the rescue of hundreds of brick kiln slave laborers last year and seeing it through long after local bodies gave up to being analytical piranhas when dealt obvious official lies, and numerous examples in between, it seems some netizens have realized their comparative advantage over local government authorities and this hubris now brings us the China Netizen Party.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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