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Hu Jintao touts media freedom

Hu Jintao touts media freedom

Chinese President and vocal free speech advocate Hu Jintao vowed to continue safeguarding the rights of foreign media working in China, reports the state-run paper China Daily.

“It is more important than ever before that the media should establish and uphold social responsibilities,” Hu said at the World Media Summit. Apparently Hu cares so much about the media doing the right thing that he employs about 30,000 “Internet Police” to discourage everything from negative news to pornography. China’s Internet filtering (AKA “The Great Firewall”) was especially frustrating for overseas reporters covering the 2008 Olympics in Beijing; the control of the Internet probably has something to do with why Freedom House ranks Chinese media the 181st least-free out of 195 countries surveyed, tied with Iran and Rwanda.

On the other hand, Hu did say, “The media should uphold the ideas of equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit and common development, and better facilitate exchanges and cooperation.”  And if you can’t trust friends like these…

Photo: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images