We have all known for a long time that the rulers in China do not like to have people looking into their business. Along those lines we also know that the basic rule is that the media need to be tightly controlled.
Unfortunately for the boys and girls in Beijing, once they opened up their country to the world, they also opened themselves to global scrutiny by the Western media.
One of the ways Beijing tries to keep prying eyes away is to deny Western journalists visas to work in China.
The use of the visa process is not unique to China, but they way they do it is typical of dictatorships trying to keep control of the message.
Recently China has been ticked off at The New York Times and Bloomberg after these two news organizations published articles about how the families of the ruling elite got wealthy. To retaliate over good and honest journalism, Beijing is holding up the normally routine process of renewing the visas for journalists from these news services.
On his recent trip to China, VP Biden took Beijing to task for their petty and childish actions.
“Innovation thrives where people breathe freely, speak freely, are able to challenge orthodoxy, where newspapers can report the truth without fear of consequences,” Mr. Biden declared.
One of the nice things about the way Pres. Carter inserted human rights into the foreign policy dialog is that U.S. government officials feel obliged to speak out against political and press repression even as they work to have closer relations with countries such as China.