The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China welcomes the partial lifting of restrictions on several previously blocked websites in Olympic media areas, but remains concerned that access is inconsistent and many internet sites remain off limits.
The unblocking of sites, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Radio Free Asia, Reporters Without Borders and the Mandarin service of the BBC, is a step forward.
But it is regrettable that other sites, such as those related to Falun Gong and Tibet exile groups, remain off limits. There also appear to be problems with Wikipedia searches for Tiananmen, Cultural Revolution, Lin Biao, Wei Jinsheng and Bao Tong.
The Chinese authorities say “Internet access is sufficient and convenient,” but this falls short of the promise made by the host and the International Olympic Committee of “complete freedom” for the media.
The FCCC calls on the Chinese government and the IOC to further open the internet, to ensure access is consistent, and to make today’s gains permanent and expanded nationwide in line with China’s moves towards greater openness.