China Stops the Presses, Again

China's leadership is drafting an overhaul of its communist-era constitution that would include guarantees of private-property rights. But freedom of the press will probably not be part of any charter-reform package. In its latest attempt to rein in the country's increasingly boisterous media, the Party's Publicity Department—formerly the Ministry of Propaganda—this month ordered the closure of the Beijing New Times newspaper after it ran an article criticizing China's congress. The department also forbade coverage of other sensitive topics, including Jiang Yanyong, the doctor who exposed the government's cover-up of the SARS epidemic;...

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