Chinese daily editor sacked over veiled critique of Xi

Beijing, March 3 (IANS) An editor of one of China’s most prestigious newspaper, the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily, was sacked over an allegedly veiled critique of media censorship by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Liu Yuxia, who had worked on the daily’s front page for the last three years, was fired from the newspaper and her senior Wang Haijun handed a “serious demerit” over the front paged critique in the newspaper’s February 20 edition, EFE news reported.

The main headline carried a quote from Xi, from his recent visit to the headquarters of state TV broadcaster CCTV, in which he had sought loyalty from official media towards the country’s Communist Party and below this piece of news, was a report on the funeral of a historic leader of the regime.

While the two stories had no apparent connection, the headlines of both, when combined read as “Media following the surname of the party have their souls returned to the sea,” which was seen by some as a veiled critique of the iron-fisted information control exercised by the Chinese president.

China has also clamped down on online journalism, and last month saw the suspension of over 580 social media accounts, including those belonging to popular online commentators.

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