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Daily Archives: August 2, 2008

Hu Jintao urges foreign press to abide by Chinese laws

 Image  Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday urged foreign journalists covering next week’s Beijing Olympics to abide by Chinese laws and file “objective” reports.

“China’s door to the outside world is always wide open,” Hu told foreign journalists in a rare press conference exactly one week before the Games. “Whether during the Olympic Games or after the Olympic Games, we will always welcome foreign reporters to come to this country to cover what is happening,” he said, adding China
would provide facilities for their work. “Of course, we also hope that during their coverage foreign reporters will follow and abide by Chinese laws and regulations,” he said. “We also hope you will provide objective and
impartial coverage of what you see here so that your report can enhance the communication and understanding between Chinese people and people from other parts of the world.” With 20,000 journalists arriving in China to
cover the Games, China is facing unprecedented scrutiny, and it is anxious that the reporters focus on the sporting events rather than delve into controversial political issues. Government preparations for the Games have
also been seen as a litmus test of its willingness to allow more press freedoms. Although China pledged to allow the foreign press covering the Games unfettered access to the Internet, that pledge was reversed this week with some sites blocked at the main Olympic press centre in Beijing. Governments and media groups have stepped
up criticism of the decision, and China authorities appeared on Friday to give some ground. China allowed media at the centre access to Amnesty International’s website and a small number of other previously censored sites, but a wide array of others remained blocked. Early last year, China’s issued new temporary regulations removing restrictions on where foreign correspondents could report, as long as the people they wanted to interview agreed. While in theory, the rules marked a step forward in media freedom, authorities have been
able to implement them in a selective manner, sometimes barring reporters from covering certain events by referring to their “safety”. The rules are set to expire after the end of the Games and the Paralympics, but China had indicated late last year that they could be made permanent.

More on page 8

Way of choosing Anglican leader is colonial remnant, says Ugandan Archbishop

The Archbishop of Uganda described the process by which the leader of the world's Anglicans is selected as a "remnant of British colonialism" in an article yesterday defending his church's decision not to attend the Lambeth Conference.
Writing in The Times, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi wrote that the US Episcopal Church, which sparked the fury of conservative Anglicans the world over when it consecrated an openly gay bishop in 2003, "must show repentance and regret before we can share communion with them".
In the article, Orombi lamented the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams "is not even elected by his peers."
"Even the Pope is elected by his peers, but what Anglicans have is a man appointed by a secular government," he wrote.
"Over the past five years, we have come to see this as a remnant of British colonialism, and it is not serving us well.
"The spiritual leadership of a global communion of independent and autonomous provinces should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government."
Orombi wrote that the Episcopal Church's decision to consecrate Gene Robinson five years ago "disregarded biblical authority by violating clear biblical teaching aginst homosexual behaviour."
"How can we go to Holy Communion, sit in Bible study groups, and share meals together, pretending that everything is OK?, that we are still in fellowship with the persistent violators of biblical teaching and of Lambeth resolutions?" he wrote.
"The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked us to 'wait for each other'. But how is it possible when we are not travelling in the same direction?"
The Lambeth Conference, which started last week and runs to August 3, brings together around 650 bishops from around the world — but it has been overshadowed by divisions.
About a quarter of the communion's bishops, including most from Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda, are staying away, in objection to the presence of those responsible for consecrating Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire.