April 29, 2020

Coronavirus: RSF denounces China’s censorship on academic publications

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces China’s recent censorship on some coronavirus publications, a move that may deprive the international community of essential information to fight the pandemic.

Earlier this month, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology notified at least two universities that coronavirus research must obtain their approval prior to publishing, a measure that is unusual even for Chinese censorship.

"Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Beijing to rescind this measure as it could further inhibit the flow of scientific information coming out of China and undermine the international effort against the pandemic”, says Cédric Alviani, the head of RSF’s East Asia bureau, who notes that “by trying to hide scientific information on the coronavirus from the international community, Beijing shows a monstrous egotism far removed from the image of responsibility and solidarity that it tried to project since the beginning of the crisis.”

Chinese authorities are doing everything they can to impose their narrative on the coronavirus, blocking the circulation of information in China,  denigrating foreign media outlets that criticize Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and spreading false information.

China is ranked 177th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.