The Guardian reports that China is responding to criticism of its handling of Tibetan protests with a “publicity offensive,” while censoring media accusations that China denied journalists access to areas of unrest. Chinese media, after “ignoring and then playing down protests,” yesterday began to air the anti-Chinese riots in Lhasa and the aftermath.
Tibetan governor Qiangba Puncog held a press conference attacking Western coverage as “ridiculous” and unnecessarily graphic. Chris O'Brien, a former employee of Xinhua News and author of the Beijing Newspeak blog, told The Guardian that video coverage may be legit but, since not providing the necessary historical and political context, could be deceiving.
According to China Daily, Qiangba Puncog said that the riots were the result of a conspiracy by advocates of Tibetan independence, and riots were "premeditated, organized, and masterminded" by the Dalai Lama clique. “A tiny handful of separatists and lawless elements engaged in extreme acts with the goal of generating publicity to wreck stability during this crucial period of the Olympic Games," he said, adding that the group relayed a distorted version of the unrest to the media.
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