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China's strike-hit paper to publish as normal


China

China's strike-hit paper to publish as normal

A reformist Chinese newspaper at the centre of a row about freedom of expression in the country will be published as normal tomorrow according to one of its writers.

Some staff at the Southern Weekly walked out after claiming that the paper’s New Year editorial calling for constitutional government, had been re-written to praise the Communist Party’s achievements.

A widespread movement of support sprang up for the strikers.

Protester Xiao Qingshan said: “If there is always censorship and the media face closure every day, the media become a tool to cheat the people. Then is there any hope for this country?”

The dispute provoked pro-strike and pro-government demonstrations, but more than that, it shone a spotlight on the new administration’s appetite for reform in China.

Some observers say a deal to end the strike action, that will leave most staff unpunished, is a promising sign for press freedom.

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