CMP noted yesterday that the draft emergency management law – and the media clause that drew a wave of foreign media attention – was just that, a draft. Already today there are signs in the Chinese press that some leaders are unhappy with aspects of the proposed law, the media clause included. A news article on page four of today’s The Beijing News addresses several points under contention as members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress debated the draft. The last portion of that story reads:
A number of standing committee members believe article 57 of the draft law, concerning “news media making bold to report on the handling of emergency situations in violation of regulations or issuing false reports” is insufficiently precise and should stipulate which government bodies are making these “regulations” and the nature of those “regulations”.
This means some committee members are expressing concerns similar to those voiced yesterday by Zhang Ping in his editorial in Southern Metropolis Daily, which ESWN has translated in full. For example, are the local “regulations” in question designed to orchestrate a cover-up of the emergency situation? Again, we’ll have to see how this story plays out, but unfortunately a number of Western media have already turned this into the conventional “media crackdown” story.
[Posted by David Bandurski, June 27, 2006, 10:30am]