But when a journalist also has to keep an eye out for plainclothes people, then the situation becomes more complicated. The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China is accusing the government of sanctioning an attack on a Western journalist by such people. The journalism organization suggests:
The Foreign Correspondent’s Club of China is appalled by the attack on one of our members by men who appeared to be plain clothes security officers in Beijing. This video journalist was trying to do his job Sunday when he was set upon and repeatedly punched and kicked in the face by officers as part of a general crackdown in Wangfujing following calls on the internet for a protest in this area.
Despite his best efforts to protect his camera it was confiscated. More than a dozen other journalists who went to this part of Beijing to report had problems, including being manhandled, pushed, detained and delayed by uniformed police and others.The Guardian reports that police were on full display as they sought to contain the so-called "Jasmine Revolution":
Few expected Chinese citizens to answer the "jasmine revolution" appeal, which urged them to express their desire for reform by "strolling" past a McDonald's on Wangfujing shopping street and spots in 22 other mainland cities.
In addition to the heavy police presence, street cleaning vehicles and men with brooms swept back and forth along the designated streets in Beijing and Shanghai, preventing pedestrians from slowing down. A construction site appeared on Wangfujing earlier this week, blocking off a stretch outside the hamburger bar.
Associated Press reported that Shanghai police used whistles to disperse a crowd of around 200, although it was unclear if the people were anything more than onlookers. It said officers detained at least four Chinese citizens in the city and two others in Beijing. It was not clear, however, if those detained had tried to protest.The Chinese government in recent days also has turned its attention toward America's soon-to-be former ambassador to that country. Jon Huntsman's name has been blocked from Internet searches in China:
Searches for Ambassador Jon Huntsman's name in Chinese on a popular microblogging site called Sina Weibo were met with a message Friday that said results were unavailable due to unspecified "laws, regulations and policies."
Huntsman, a Republican, is leaving his post and is seen as a potential White House contender in 2012.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in a Twitter posting Saturday that "it is remarkable" that even before Huntsman leaves Beijing, "China has made him disappear from the Internet."Looks like typical freedom with Chinese characteristics to me.