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January 25, 2010 in The China Beat


Copyright 2010. Used by permission.


“The Expo story that couldn’t be printed.” That’s what editors at Shanghai’s City Weekend magazine found they had on their hands several weeks ago, when Chinese censors deemed the story below “too negative” to run. A revised version was subsequently submitted, approved by the censors, and printed in the January 20, 2010 issue. City Weekend decided not to post the original story on its website as planned, as they were told it was inadvisable due to an official caution against publishing media reports critical of the Expo. Here, we are pleased to share with China Beat readers the full, uncensored text of Lisa Movius’s story.

The application of justice, or rather its perceived absence, in the People’s Republic of China in the past month has been the subject of much commentary in the popular media, as several high-profile cases surfaced. The two most prominent cases concerned a British drug smuggler and a Chinese dissident. On December 29th Akmal Shaikh – a British citizen convicted of smuggling roughly 4kg of heroin into Xinjiang– was executed. Literary critic and well-known dissident Liu Xiaobo was convicted of incitement to subvert state power and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Drawing less attention was a case of an academic, Professor Feng Chongyi, who sued Chinese customs for confiscating books he had in his possession upon his reentry to China after a visit to Hong Kong (detailed accounts and critiques can be found at Danwei and China Daily, December 24, 2009).