Beijing shuts down liberal website
By Tom Hancock ,AFPBEIJING -- A liberal Chinese journal's website was shut down Friday, it said, in the latest and most prominent example of a crackdown by Chinese authorities against online freedom of expression.
January 5, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
The website of the Beijing-based Annals of the Yellow Emperor was closed days after it published an appeal for leaders to guarantee constitutional rights including freedom of speech and assembly.
The publication, which has links with senior retired Communist officials, had argued in the article that China's constitution lays out a road map for political reform.
Closure of the Annals' website follows censorship by the authorities of similar calls made by a key liberal newspaper, while several influential Chinese journalists have had their social networking accounts deleted in recent weeks.
The crackdown comes despite pledges of change from China's new Communist leadership, headed by president-in-waiting Xi Jinping, which has promised a more open style of governance since the ruling party's congress in November.
Attempts to access the Annals' website Friday led to a page with a cartoon policeman holding up a badge and the message: “The website you are visiting has been closed because it has not been filed on record.”
“At around 9 am today, the website was closed,” said a post on the Annals' official web page on Sina Weibo, a website similar to Twitter, and later confirmed by the magazine's editors to AFP.
Editor-in-chief Wu Si said he received a message from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China's Internet regulator, last month stating that the website had been “cancelled.”
“I want to understand why the website was closed... we have been calling the relevant ministries all morning, and haven't had any answers,” he said, adding that the magazine's print copies did not appear to have been seized.