January 9 — Chinese commercial media voiced various opinions on the execution of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The coverage came as national television media in China were told to tread carefully around news of the execution, making reports only according to Foreign Ministry statements and without expressing sympathies for any particular party.
January 9 — The publication of an essay called “Democracy is a Good Thing” by Central Translation Bureau deputy director Yu Keping, a close ally of Hu Jintao, rippled through Chinese-language media, fueling speculation about more lively debate inside China over political reform as the 17th Party Congress approaches. [Translation of “Democracy is a Good Thing” from ESWN].
January 9 — At a recent forum on China’s “cultural industries” — covering media and the arts — a top official with the General Administration of Press and Publications (responsible for overseeing print media and publishing, attacked what he called “cultural garbage”. [Coverage from Danwei.org].
January 11 — U.S. Congressman Chris Smith reintroduced the Global Online Freedom Act (GOFA), first drafted by U.S. lawmakers in 2006 after several high-profile cases involving cooperation between Chinese authorities and American Internet companies. [Analysis by Rebecca MacKinnon here]. [“Analysis: Yahoo’s China problem“, CNN Money, February 8, 2006].
January 13 — Liang Wenxiang, a reporter for Guangdong Province’s official Nanfang Daily was beaten by unknown assailants outside his home. The reason’s for the attack are not yet known. [Brief summary from ESWN].