16 February 1998


IPI launches report on the media in China one year after the death of Deng Xiaoping

Incident details


(IPI/IFEX) - IPI is launching a report on the media in China one year after
the death of Deng Xiaoping entitled "A Year After Deng Xiaoping: Asian
Values and Obstacles Facing the Chinese Media". IPI says the death of Deng
Xiaoping on 19 February 1997 heralded a period of uncertainty regarding
China's future. While some analysts believe that democracy in China will
"peacefully" flourish due to market forces, others view the country as a
time bomb. The major events of 1997 - Deng's death and Hong Kong's handover
- silently passed by. Nothing changed: Jiang Zemin is still in power, the
market is still open, civil rights still often ignored. And where now for
the People's Republic of China? Will the Communist Party resist the strong
quest for civil and political freedom or will it gradually lose its control
over the country? And, if this is the case, are chaos and fragmentation an
inevitable consequence; or will the fast developing economy breed democracy
and raise the most populated nation of the world to the status of world power?

We can not underestimate the danger of re-dividing the world into blocks,
where a democratic West finds itself ideologically opposing a booming,
undemocratic East; where an authoritarian alternative is viewed as a short
cut to development. Understanding today's and tomorrow's China, without
being dazzled by its immense market and its growing GDP, is vital. It is
vital to avoid major confrontations and negative repercussions emanating
from an unstable environment. And it is vital for 20% of the world's
population to decide their own destiny. This study analyses Asian Values,
and looks at the obstacles facing the Chinese media, including the systems
of press control and the legislative landscape. Media freedom in China and
the free flow of information is an essential first step in allowing the
Chinese people and the rest of the world to grasp the true situation, and
develop a global strategy in the common interest.

Copies of the 45-page report are available from IPI.


International Press Institute
Spiegelgasse 2
1010 Vienna
ipi (@) freemedia.at
Fax:+ 43 1 5129014
More from China
  • Freedom on the Net 2018: China

    The level of internet freedom declined due to the new cybersecurity law which strengthened repressive restrictions on online activities.

  • Forbidden Feeds: Government Controls on Social Media in China.

    Based on extensive interviews with writers, poets, artists, activists, and others personally affected by the government’s grip on online expression, as well as interviews with anonymous employees at Chinese social media companies, the report lays bare the destructive impact of the Chinese government’s vision of “cyber sovereignty” on netizens who dare to dissent.

  • Ten-Year Edition: A Decade of Decline

    The general trend over the past 10 years has been bleak, with an overall negative trajectory for press freedom. The major turning point was the election of Xi Jinping as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in 2012 and President of China in 2013.

More from Asia & Pacific


  • The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14

    Journalism in South Asia is far from an easy profession, as the 12th annual review of journalism in the region "The Campaign for Justice: Press Freedom in South Asia 2013-14" portrays. But this year's report also tells the story of the courage of South Asia's journalists to defend press freedom and to ensure citizens' right to information and freedom of expression in the face of increasing challenges to the profession and personal safety.

  • THE STORIES WOMEN JOURNALISTS TELL: Women in Media in South Asia

    The report is the first created by the South Asia Media Solidarity Network (SAMSN) looking specifically at the experience of women journalists in the South Asia sub-region