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Chinese free speech campaigners protest against government censorship


By John Glenday, Reporter

January 8, 2013 | 1 min read

The Chinese leadership is facing one of the greatest challenges to its authority following the recent succession of Xi Jinping as president after the propaganda chief for Guangdong re-wrote an editorial in the popular Southern Weekend which called for political reform to instead sing the praises of the ruling Communist party.

The un-doctored text had argued that Chinese citizens ought be able to ‘voice their criticisms of power loudly confidently, but was ironically muffled itself by the government which published an alternate rose tinted version lf events titled ‘We Are Now Closer To Our Dream Than Ever Before’.

Instead of placating readers however the move has outraged a host of celebrities, academics and leading opinion formers who have been left aghast at the brazen nature of government meddling.

This culminated in a street protest attended by 100s of demonstrators outside the papers offices, a rare event in China.

Activists fret that the arrival of Jinping in China could indicate that far from embracing reform China may on fact be heading in a more authoritarian direction.


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