China boots more reporters as ‘Iron Curtain’ falls over the ...


China boots more reporters as ‘Iron Curtain’ falls over the Pacific again

Australian journalists targeted as tensions between China and the West spiral to Cold War levels

Nicola Smith

Michael Smith, a reporter for an Australian newspaper, was jolted from his sleep in his Shanghai flat last week by six Chinese state intelligence officers who questioned him under a bright spotlight. Almost 1,300km away in Beijing, as drinks flowed in the middle of a party at his flat, Bill Birtles, correspondent for Australia’s state broadcaster, received an almost identical visit.

The message from the authorities was the same: pack your bags.

Details were sketchy but the pair were told they were “people of interest” in a case and subject to a ban. The reality is more nuanced...

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