By: Jianli Yang – April 14, 2021

Late last month, after nine years in China, BBC Beijing correspondent John Sudworth clandestinely left with his family for Taiwan. His move followed a propaganda campaign against him for his coverage of the origins of COVID-19 and of a crackdown on Muslim minorities.

The next day, the Foreign Ministry of China claimed to be unaware Sudworth was under any threat. But that same day, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)–controlled Global Times said Sudworth “may be sued by individuals in Xinjiang over his slanderous reports.” The threat here is obvious: The Chinese court is fully run by the CCP.

Sudworth’s treatment is hardly unique. Indeed, the CCP has a long and thorough history of monitoring and tracking foreign journalists reporting in China. Even 2020, the year the coronavirus emerged from and peaked in China, was no exception. The state’s surveillance system, used to monitor and track the spread of the coronavirus, was also effective at tracking foreign journalists who covered events as they unfolded. [Continue Reading]