Reports on China’s microblog platforms today indicate that China Economic Times, a newspaper published by the Development Research Center of the State Council and one of the country’s leading publications for investigative reporting, is being subjected to a “purge” of its investigative reporting team, which is led by veteran muckraker and CMP fellow Wang Keqin (王克勤). We’ll provide more details on this worrying turn of events as they become available.
Wang Keqin has not yet spoken openly about the unfolding incident, but wrote cryptically on his microblog on Sina today, paraphrasing German poet Heinrich Heine: “Where political power burns books, it will ultimately burn people also. Where political power begins to suppress the voice, if it is not stopped, its next step will be to destroy the witness!”
CMP director Qian Gang wrote on his Sina Microblog account at 11am this morning: “I just received word from a friend at China Economic Times: ‘A ridiculous leader just visited us here, and aside from carrying out political struggle and grinding over people, he understands nothing.'”
In a piece recently posted on his blog, and translated by CMP, Wang Keqin described the development of investigative reporting in China since the 1990s, its ups and downs, and said that the practice had grown in strength and intensity in recent years.
For more background on Chinese investigative reporting, look for CMP’s book on the topic, Investigative Journalism in China.