Covering The Middle Kingdom

Evan Osnos pushes for greater protection of American journalists covering Chinese politics. A slew of journalists, from the NYT to Al Jazeera, have been kicked out, delayed entry, or tangled in red tape:

That is a pattern of pressure that the United States government cannot ignore. These kinds of reports, as well as stories on the downfall of Bo Xilai, have become a vital part of the world’s understanding of China’s political strengths and weaknesses. It informs how the U.S. government understands the men on the other side of its most critical foreign-policy relationship. As Elizabeth M. Lynch, of the China Law & Policy blog, wrote this week, the U.S. has been quiet on the pressure facing American reporters. “In Melissa Chan’s case, the State Department, through a press person, just said that it was ‘disappointed’ with what happened. If ever you wanted to give the Chinese government a signal to continue to harass foreign reporters, such a tepid response was likely the way.”