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News ::
Chinese officials attempt to control U.S. media, Massport sticks to principles, Harvard caves in
19 Dec 2003
BOSTON (The Epoch Times) – With strong support from officials from the Massachusetts Governor’s office, Massachusetts Port Authority, (Massport), and U.S. secret service, Chinese language newspaper The Epoch Times reporter Timothy Pi was finally able to cover Chinese premier’s visit at Conley Terminal on Wednesday.
Boston Police and Chinese official_400.jpg
Female Chinese official is cornered by American officials to allow reporter to cover event
Timothy Pi obtained a press pass to cover Chinese premier, Wen Jiabao’s visit to Boston the night before Wen’s arrival. When Pi arrived at a designated media facility near Logan airport, he was informed by an official from the Governor’s office that Chinese officials had distinctly requested to revoke press credentials for The Epoch Times and New Tang Dynasty TV (NTD TV) – but their request was rejected.

Pi later arrived at Conley Terminal, a Massport facility, where Wen was scheduled to be welcomed by the Governor Romney. Upon arrival, Pi was confronted by a female Chinese official who was apparently screening Chinese media reporters. Once she found out that Pi was from The Epoch Times, she and other Chinese officials demanded the U.S. officials to revoke Pi’s press pass. Officials from the Governor’s office, Massport, as well as personnel from the U.S. secret service rejected the demand, stating that The Epoch Times is a U.S. registered media company and it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government. After a long debate between the two sides, and with help from police who finally needed to physically restrain the Chinese official who attempted to block Pi at the entrance several times, Pi was able to enter the tent where the welcome ceremony was to be held.

Prior to Wen’s appearance at Massport, a similar drama took place at Harvard Business School where Wen gave a speech. One Chinese official from the New York Chinese consulate, Ms. Kong, and two security agents were on-site at Williams Room in Spangler Center to help Harvard personnel screen all Chinese media. The two security agents stood close to the Harvard personnel, indicating which media should be admitted, and the Harvard personnel followed. The reporters from the New Tang Dynasty TV, The Epoch Times, and Sound of Hope International Radio Network were told that they were “secret service swept” and that the space in the main conference hall for the media was full. Despite the fact that they were among the earliest Chinese language media who arrived at the conference facility, each with press credentials issued by the News and Public Affairs Office at Harvard University, these three media were left “the option” to cover the event in the Williams Room via a TV monitor. During the speech when a Tibetan protester stood up and started speaking, the audio and visual signals were cut off immediately in the room.

The Epoch Times, New Tang Dynasty TV, and Sound of Hope Radio are U.S. registered Chinese language, non-profit, independent media organizations. They were singled out by the Chinese government most likely because of their reporting on sensitive issues that the Chinese government would rather keep covered-up, such as the persecution of Falun Gong, human rights violations in China, the SARS epidemic, corruptions among others.

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