Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tibetan protests, March 2008

In light of the recent protests by Buddhist monks in Lhasa, Tibet (BBC news article and report), a French YouTube user recently posted a clip from CNN featuring international journalist Ralitsa Vassileva explaining to viewers the censorship that the Chinese government imposes when a controversial topic like Tibet emerges in the media.

Vassileva mentions the new forms of communication used by international journalists: anonymous dissidents, blogs and websites on the internet, et cetera. While not directly mentioned in the video, it is known that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is slowly losing its supposed totalitarian control over its people as the country is introduced to the age of instant communication. Such circumstances must be taken into account as protests against the treatment of Tibet, among other human rights abuses, gain momentum and widespread attention. It is once again pertinent to consider China's actions with the 2008 Summer Olympics in mind: China had actually granted foreign media certain rights as part of their deal with the IOC (International Olympic Committee), but with the international news media still criticizing the government's actions, that "progress" appears to be questionable.

With the international news media blatantly criticizing the Chinese government, what will the CCP do to ensure that their public image is not tarnished any further?

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