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JIANG Zemin Calls for Vigilance Against Negative Foreign Influences

China News Digest, 14 January 2002

[CND, 01/14/02] Chinese President JIANG Zemin has warned domestic media chiefs to watch out negative influences as China is being integrated into WTO, the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday from Beijing.

Jiang gave a speech at a four-day national conference for media and publicity bosses. He was quoted as saying that senior media editors must toe the party line to avoid ideological chaos and reports on natural and man-made disasters should be strictly supervised to avoid intensifying the public's grievances.

JIANG Zemin also mentioned a recent incident that lead to the seizure of millions of copies of the November 24 edition of Securities Weekly, which contained an article critical of the wealth of National People's Congress Chairman LI Peng and his family.

Jiang said State press should learn a lesson from this incident. State media organizations should also stay highly alert and rein in their staff when disseminating sensitive information, he added.

SCMP report said that the author of the article, MA Hailin, an officer in the People's Armed Police, has been arrested.

The national media meeting opened on Wednesday and guidelines for the coverage of political and social events were discussed as an effort to ensure a stable atmosphere before the 16th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party later this year. (Bo XIONG)