During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, held from 12 to 18 November in Papua New Guinea, several accredited media, including the Australian TV channel ABC and the local daily The National Newspaper, were prevented from covering three events organized by the Chinese delegation and involving Chinese President Xi Jinping, including a dinner with his counterparts from eight Pacific Island States.
Chinese journalists were apparently the only ones allowed to cover these events. The delegation, which did not see fit to explain the reasons for this discrimination, cynically invited excluded journalists to use the recordings broadcast by the Chinese media as the source of information for their articles.
"It is intolerable that a foreign delegation in an international event would claim the right to choose which journalists can be admitted or not to cover the proceedings," said Cédric Alviani, director of Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) East Asia office, who sees in this incident " a new example of the media control strategy established by Beijing, which is no longer limited to the Chinese territory and tends to spread internationally.”
China is one of the world’s worst jailers of journalists, holding more than 60 professional and non-professional journalists behind bars. In the 2018 World Press Freedom Index published by RSF, the country stagnates at 176 out of 180.