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Press Freedom in China: A Sars Case Study

Recorded on May 13, 2003

The Heritage Foundation's Van Andel Center

Does China's SARS crisis present a Chernobyl-scale challenge to China's leadership? The Washington Post and the New York Times both think so. With real fissures apparent in China's leadership between former President Jiang Zemin and struggling new leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, the SARS crisis has provided an excuse to purge Jiang loyalists. Since the onset of the SARS crisis, President Hu and Premier Wen have been visiting poor and rural provinces and aligning themselves closely with the Chinese masses. President Hu has also demanded absolute candor from the media regarding SARS cases.

Will SARS be a catalyst for a freer Chinese media? Or will the press remain an instrument of the Chinese leadership? Join us as we discuss this and more at Press Freedom in China: A Case Study in SARS.