On November 14, U.S. President Joe Biden met with Chinese Communist leader Xi Jinping prior to the G-20 Summit in Bali. During the event, an American journalist asked Biden a question about human rights in China. A Chinese Communist Party (CCP) official pushed the reporter, who lost her balance and nearly fell to the ground.
As reported by international media, reporter Molly Nagle, a producer for ABC News, said someone pushed her when she tried to shout out a question about human rights before a meeting between Biden and Xi.
ABC News producer Molly Nagle recounted that she wanted to ask Biden if he planned to discuss human rights in his meeting with Xi in Bali, Indonesia, in their first in-person bilateral meeting since Biden took office as president.
She wrote in her pool report, “But I was pulled backwards by my backpack as I shouted by a member of the Chinese group.”
She continued, “I stumbled backward and then was pushed toward the door, knocking me off balance, though I did not fall down.”
Nagle said a White House stenographer standing nearby told the man, who was wearing a white mask with a Chinese flag, not to touch her. Another White House staffer also approached and told the man not to touch her either.
The journalist was part of the reporter pool selected to cover White House events, which then relays the news to other journalists.
ABC News has not commented on the matter.
Journalists and human rights: two targets of persecution by the CCP
It is astonishing that a CCP official would dare such aggressive behavior in the West toward an American journalist. However, in China, the CCP does not allow freedom of the press and persecutes journalists. And citizens comments on the internet are completely controlled. No discussion is allowed on human rights, religious freedom, and information about the pandemic that does not come from the state media.
Since 2020, and with the pandemic ravaging the world, several Chinese journalists reported on the real situation of the virus in China through alternative media. Some of the informative videos crossed the Chinese censorship barrier and went viral on social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.
These journalists knew they were risking their lives by informing people. Amnesty International reported that a Chinese journalist who showed the truth of the pandemic in China on her blog was taken by the Chinese communist regime in May 2020.
The journalist, named Zhang Zhan, went to Wuhan to investigate what happened during the first COVID-19 outbreak and provided vital updates on what was happening and revealed how CCP officials had detained independent reporters and harassed families of COVID-19 patients.
In December 2020, the CCP sentenced her to four years in prison for reporting on the pandemic via social media in China. Zhang began a hunger strike to protest the illegitimate deprivation of her freedom. On July 31, 2021, Amnesty International reported that the journalist was receiving medical care and weighed less than 90 pounds.
At the end of 2021, the U.N. demanded that the regime “immediately” release the journalist.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights spokeswoman Marta Hurtado, “We urge the Chinese authorities to consider Zhang’s immediate release, if only on humanitarian grounds, and to make urgent medical aid available to her, respecting her will and her dignity.”
U.N. pressure has apparently not worked. A year has passed since Hurtado’s statement, and the journalist remains imprisoned. Amnesty International is still working for her release.
CCP censorship of journalism continues to expand worldwide
The CCP’s worldwide influence on Western journalism is not getting much publicity in the international media. Recently, a well-known Hong Kong media outlet came under fire from the CCP for an investigation into human rights in Xinjiang.
South China Morning Post (SCMP), a more than 100-year-old newspaper founded in Hong Kong, is one of the most trusted media outlets among readers in the region.
Journalist Peter Langan, a former senior editor for SCMP, led a team to investigate the situation in Xinjiang in 2021, focusing on family planning and reproduction among ethnic Uyghurs. The research sought to demonstrate that the human rights situation in Xinjiang constitutes the U.N. definition of “targeted group genocide.”
At an event put on by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in October this year, Langan said, “The specific research report analyzed the human rights situation from different perspectives, in particular birth control in Xinjiang, and whether it constitutes “genocide” according to the UN definition.”
The report was ready to be published in three installments, however, SCMP management rejected publishing it. For Langan, the rejection occurred because of the CCP’s influence over SCMP, as the report divulged the consequences of the CCP’s birth policy on the Uyghur population.
Langan said there was “no way they were going to publish this story about Xinjiang and the criticism involving the Communist Party of China.”
Langan noted that it is becoming increasingly difficult to report on China, “It is not ideal, that is why, in the last two years, more journalists have chosen to leave China and settle in Taipei.”