Plainclothes and uniformed security officials blocked a live broadcast by German ZDF television from the Great Wall at Simatai, Beijing, saying the American analyst they were interviewing was “not a licensed Chinese expert.”
ZDF’s Johannes Hano said his crew and sources experienced repeated “massive interference” during a week of live broadcasts all of which had prior government approvals about beautiful spots in Beijing. During the Great Wall interview, guards jumped in front of their live camera and stopped the broadcast.
The ZDF crew called the Foreign Ministry and International Press Center and was allowed to continue, said Hano, “but we had to always take into consideration that they would stop us again.” Several sources interviewed throughout the week were harassed by police, he recalled, and some who previously had agreed to be interviewed ultimately refused.
ZDF plans to file “a sharp protest” with the Chinese government, said Hano. “While the abort of our live [broadcast] was a massive interference it is only the tip of the iceberg of what we experienced during the whole week of our long-planned live broadcasts from China.”