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Official Press Attacks Voice of America For Coverage of Unrest

January 11, 1987

PEKING (AP) _ Chinese news media, for the second time this month, on Sunday lashed out at the Voice of America’s reporting of pro-democracy student demonstrations, saying its goal was to ″create chaos in China.″

China Youth News (Zhongguo Qingnian Bao) did not single out any specific report by the U.S.-government-run radio station.

But in front-page excerpts from a Hong Kong newspaper, Youth News charged that VOA was trying to ″add fuel to the fire and create chaos in China″ in its reports on recent pro-democracy student demonstrations in a number of major Chinese cities.

It said Hong Kong’s independent Centre Daily News (Zhongbao) ran the commentary on Jan. 6 with the title ″Guard Against The Voice of Chaos.″

On Jan. 2, China’s official Xinhua News Agency attacked VOA by quoting an unidentified Peking resident who criticized a VOA interview with liberal American commentator I.F. Stone in which Stone reportedly voiced support for the student protesters.

Earlier, the state-run media criticized ″inflammatory″ reports by ″a certain radio station,″ but did not give a name.

Richard Carlson, the director of VOA, said last week that the agency had tried to keep its broadcasts free of material that might stimulate student protests, and that all its reports on the unrest were based on eyewitness accounts by its correspondents or on reports carried by at least two other Western news organizations.

There have been no reports of any pro-democracy student demonstrations since Jan. 5 when Peking University students burned copies of the Peking Daily to protest its reporting on the student protests.

Many students have said they listened to VOA regularly for news of student unrest in other cities because the official press reported only certain incidents, and those only with a strongly disapproving slant.

Centre Daily said ″such blind belief in foreign broadcasts is dangerous,″ Youth News reported.

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