New York: The Chinese government has
established `no reporting zones` in Shanghai and Beijing to
prevent foreign journalists from covering potential protests
inspired by Tunisia`s `Jasmine Revolution`.
A report in the New York Times said today that Chinese
police personnel dressed in plain clothes harassed and
assaulted foreign journalists on Sunday.
"The police provided reasonable guidance, and the
journalists should understand and cooperate," said Jiang Yu,
spokesperson for the foreign ministry.
"If both sides take this attitude, we can minimise
the occurrence of such incidents," he was quoted as saying by
Following a call on the Internet to stage a Chinese
`Jasmine Revolution`, the government responded by a large show
of force even though no large-scale demonstrations surfaced.
Last week, media reports said that the words `Jasmine
Revolution`, borrowed from the successful Tunisian revolt,
were blocked on social networking websites sites and on
Internet search engines.
NYT said that officials have informed journalists that
one of the capital`s main shopping districts, Wangfujing, and
People`s Square in the heart of Shanghai are either off limits
or require a special permit for taking photographs and
The newspaper said that last Sunday when there was a
call for rallies in more than 20 cities across the country,
journalists trying to cover the rallies were assaulted.
A Bloomberg News videographer was seriously beaten up
by plainclothes security agents, according to the Foreign
Correspondents Club of China.
The association also said that employees from five
news organisations reported that some material or images had
been confiscated and that nine other journalists had been
detained for as long as four hours, The Times said.
The Chinese news media has reportedly been barred from
even discussing the rallies.