History a factor in Communist Party media censorship
The heat over China's media censorship was turned up Tuesday after a baker's dozen of senior Chinese officials warned that preventing freedom of expression would "sow the seeds of disaster for political and social transition." The government's decision to shut down "Freezing Point," an investigative section of the China Youth Daily, came in response to an article written by professor Yuan Weishi, Al Jazeera reports. In the piece, Mr. Yuan questioned the official Chinese line on the 19th-century Opium Wars and the 1900 Boxer Rebellion.
Yuan told Aljazeera.net: "Since 1949 Chinese historians have said that the Boxer Rebellion has been an important event in the forming of modern China."
Referring to a Marxist based historiography that has portrayed the rebellion as a struggle against colonialism, Yuan says that from his research, "the Boxers were simply an army bent on destruction".
Yuan suggested Chinese textbooks were factually incorrect and fostered prejudice and resentment among young Chinese.
In a statement, officials said the article had "seriously contradicted news propaganda discipline; seriously damaged the national feelings of the Chinese people ... and it created a bad social influence".
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