Last week the Foreign Ministry requested that we cancel a Speakers’ Event featuring Geoffrey Crothall from the China Labour Bulletin. The event had already been postponed for other reasons and they asked that we instead cancel it.
The reason given was that his organization is “anti-China”, that it “advocates so-called independent trade unions” and that it “represents a threat to the country’s stable economic development”. The Ministry said that, by us hosting such a speaker, we were engaging in “political” activity.
The Club did not agree to the request to cancel the event but, in the face of Foreign Ministry objections, China Labour Bulletin decided to pull out anyway.
Below is a statement from the China Labour Bulletin about the matter.
In response to strong objections from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Hong Kong-based labour rights group, China Labour Bulletin (CLB) has decided to cancel its planned press conference in Beijing hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China.
CLB’s Communications Director, Geoffrey Crothall said: “CLB appreciated the opportunity to meet with FCCC members and discuss our work during our two previous press conferences in Beijing and we are disappointed that we will not be able to do so on this occasion. We very much hope that other opportunities will arise in the future.”
CLB’s forthcoming research report on the state of the workers’ movement in China, which was to be the subject of the press conference, will be published as scheduled on 11 October 2011.
Embargoed copies of the report, Unity is Strength: The Workers’ Movement in China, 2009-2011, will be available from 28 September. To obtain an electronic copy, please contact Geoffrey Crothall:
Office telephone (852) 2780 2187
Mobile (852) 6402 1530
Mr Crothall will be available for media interviews regarding the content of the report prior to its publication on condition that any comments are held until the report’s embargo date.