Intervju med HKFP om min svartlistning från Kina

I dag publicerade Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) en artikel om min svartlistning från Kina, efter att ha intervjuat mig för ett par veckor sedan. Som väntat görs ett mycket bättre jobb än vad svenska medier mäktar med, i form av jämförelser med andra liknande fall och kommentarer från såväl svenska myndigheter som aktivister.

De flesta av er läsare är redan bekanta med faktumet att jag i somras nekades visum till Kina två gånger med två olika pass, vilket sannolikt hänger ihop med min rapportering i känsliga frågor.

HKFP understryker också mycket riktigt den tydliga trenden med att Kina inte förnyar visum åt journalister som skriver för ”obekvämt”:

China has been accused of using visa restrictions as a way to control foreign media reports. In 2013, visas for about two dozen reporters at the New York Times and Bloomberg were delayed until less than two weeks before they would be expelled from the country. The two media outlets were not given new journalist visas for more than a year after they published stories about the wealth of the families of top officials.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China found in its 2015 Visa Survey that “While less than 4% of respondents reported problems renewing their press cards or visas, Chinese authorities continued in 2015 to abuse the press card and visa renewal process in a political manner, punishing reporters and media organizations for the content of their coverage if it has displeased the government,” naming French journalist Ursula Gauthier’s case as the most glaring example of this phenomenon.

I artikeln framför jag även min teori om att Kina förmodligen granskar svensk media mer noggrant efter att de två svenskarna Gui Minhai och Peter Dahlin för ett drygt år sedan kidnappades av kinesiska myndigheter.

HKFP kontaktade i sin tur svenska ambassaden i Peking för en kommentar, där en talesperson nöjde sig med att konstatera att ”klimatet har blivit mer restriktivt” på senare tid, men att de inte känner till att svenska journalister skulle vara särskilt utsatt.

Vidare kontaktar HKFP även Peter Dahlin – en av de två kidnappade – för en kommentar. Han är mer inne på mitt spår, att Kina kollar noggrannare på svensk media än tidigare och att mina skriverier om Gui Minhai kan ligga bakom visumbeslutet:

Peter Dahlin told HKFP that Swedish media traditionally did not pay much attention to China.

“Gui Minhai’s case was largely ignored by Swedish media, but with my own detention media had to start paying attention to China, and by extension also to Gui’s case.”

Since Gui Minhai’s daughter’s activism has also brought more attention to his case in Swedish media, “it’s only natural that China will start to pay attention more,” he said.

Regarding coverage on Gui, Olsson “was the only one pushing it in Sweden,” Dahlin said, and his reporting game him a name. “[S]o I think it’s safe to assume his work on Gui’s case was what attracted attention to him, and got him booted out.”

I artikelns slutdel konstaterar jag också att det är många som redan i dag ägnar sig åt självcensur för att de är rädda att gå samma öde som mig till mötes:

He has talked to many journalists since he was blacklisted, and many are careful what they say or write about China, he said.

“It’s not only journalists, it’s also academics, business people, people working for NGOs – they are actually already doing a certain degree of self-censorship because they are afraid that they will never be able to get into China again.”

Jag är dock mer övertygad än någonsin att detta är fel väg att gå. Historien visar hur viktigt det är att inte av rädsla ge efter för expansiva diktaturers krav, och de som ägnar sig åt självcensur för egen vinning kommer aldrig ha min fulla respekt.

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  1. Var riktigt kul att läsa kommentarerna. Tur att folk inte slickar upp gråthistorian som kattmjölk. Gör om gör rätt, ansök om det korrekta visumet nästa gång och arbeta inte illegalt !

    • Ja, som väntat fanns det både stöd och hat bland de över 100 kommentarerna. De som är intresserade kan ju kolla själva.

      Men det märkligaste torde ju vara att du skapade en tom Facebook med användarnamnet ”Kalle Ankorna” bara för att kunna attackera mig anonymt i kommentarerna, genom att skriva ”The journalist has quite a reputation for being a moron in Sweden” samt länka till min gamla intervju med Dagens Industri som helt saknar relevans i sammanhanget. Det säger ju en del om kvalitén överlag i kommentarsfältet.

      Varför är det förresten så viktigt för dig att skriva skit om andra från ett anonymt alias? Om du nu har kritik att framföra, varför inte göra det rakryggat?

  2. Stop telling lies Jonas Olsson, Please

    Having read Jonas Olsson articles in past two years, I cannot help making some remark about it again – I did it before, but it was deleted by him, because it was obviously not in his taste. My Swedish is good enough for reading and chatting, but to express myself better I use English instead.

    It is too much to ask Jonas Olsson to love China and its people, but it is probably reasonable to ask him not to hate China and its people – why should he does it?. And it is definitively right to ask him not to say his loves them while in reality he hates them all the time, with reasons I have difficulty to imagine. Could Hitler have had similar feeling to Jews? Why should one hates something different from what he himself belong to? Is world not a better place with flowers of many different sorts and colors in blossom?

    As a freelance journalist specialized in Chinese affairs, and having lived and learnt everything about China for so long, Jonas Olsson claims that his interests in publishing articles is to report about China fairly. But what he did is exactly the opposite. He is spreading rumors and gossips all the time, and trying the find something vicious of everything happened in China and putting it in his article, in the guise of reality report.

    It make me sick to thing to collect all his biased gossips and explain how he is screwing thing up ridiculously. Instead I list a few facts about China which he once reported, but very negatively with no good reasons at all

    First, about Chinese media censorship and totalitarian rule. In present China people can openly speak about practically everything they think, without any consequence. Freedom of speech has been the norm ever since the death of Mao, practically. There are few thousands newspapers and magazines in China where all sort of reports, article, fictions, fairy tales etc are published in huge quantity. In the printed media, however, there is restriction, and that is one should not call for overthrowing the government. If you do, you will be warned first, and if your insist in that you will eventually be imprisoned.

    That is the so called censorship in general, and it is in reality not very far from free media. Can anyone openly call for overthrowing the Swedish government in current political systems? No, it is forbidden here as well. There is a difference in degree of media freedom between Sweden and China, and it is somewhat more free in Sweden, I must say, but the difference is not so big, and it is reducing with time, particularly with the explosion of media publication introduced with internet.

    The economy situation and life standards in China have made incredible progress in the past 40 years, and people are in general satisfied with what they have. China has a recorded history of 4000 years, and people there, young and old alike, have strong feeling to their culture, and their nation as a whole. That is the force which has kept the civilization as an entity for 4000 years continuously, practically the only one on the earth. And now China is heading to a high tide in its economy and civilization seen in long historical perspective. Why should the Chinese as a whole complain and try to overthrow what they enjoy so much now?

    Second, the express train system in China. In the past 5 years, China has constructed a completely new network of express railway which has covered most part of the huge country and made travel much more convenient. This is practically something new in the world – with its coverage of area, the speed of over 300 KM per hour, and the superb quality in seats and service on the trains. No one who has put his foot on the train and traveled with it is not extremely impressed by it. It is just one aspect of China’s rapid development, and with it the improvement of people’s life quality. Thousands of Chinese cities and towns have been reconstructed completely with wide and clean streets, huge shopping centers and splendid shopping malls, food service and entertainment facilities of all kinds. Even a medium sized city would look more prosperous than Stockholm, the only big city in Sweden.

    Third, Jonas Olson once wrote a few articles about Chinese Yearly University Enrollment Examination, and he calls it a killing trap, in his typical style. The examination is actually a important part in Chinese education system and in Chinese society, and it played a extremely positive role in as a whole.

    As a long-lasting cultural tradition, Chinese pay great attentions to education of their children. Parents in general regards it’s one of their life most important task to give their kids a decent education, preferably as good as possible. This is not only true for those who themselves have had good education, but even for those who had practically not education at all,and many are willing to work hard and long-time for it when necessary. But the resource of good university education is limited in China, like in anywhere else. To ensure that all children and students would have the same chance of education, based on the their merit of knowledge and study competence instead of family background or positions of parents, strictly regulated National University Enrollment Examination is held by Chinese government once a year, where all students are given the same math, physics, literature, and English test sheets. Those who get good results are ensured a seat in the best universities no matter what family they come from.

    This grand-scale activity is never reported by Jonas, although it is so important, and although he claims to be a active reporters about everything of China. Instead, he said the National Examination is a killing ground, destroying Chinese youngsters mercilessly. Is this a honest, reality based way of a journalist work?

    All the above is so clear such that Jonas Olsson cannot possibly miss knowing them. And still he made no reports about them to his readers, who are keen to learn about China’s reality. Instead, China in his report is worse than Stalin’s Soviet: peopled are suppressed and suffering, living in misery all the time, waiting to be reported and eventually liberated by somebody like himself. What a misleading, and a hypocrisy he is. And I cannot help wondering, why is he doing all these?

    Two facts are clear
    He is misleading his Swedish readers, his countrymen, completely, and this is not so glorious
    He is hoping to turn China upside down as a whole in order to prove his shallow superiority, and this is viscous.

    China is not a perfect country and has its problems and short-comings too. The two most striking ones, as I myself see them are the followings

    1.Law do not have absolute power, and many disputing issues are resolved on the basis of compromise, seeking to keep society harmony instead of applying law. The most obvious problem it brings about is that quite some businessmen and company owners take loans and do not pay them back, not to say in time. This has lead to serious problems of so-called triangle loan: A loan from B, B loan from C. But because C later refuses to pay back his loan to B in time, both B and A are forced to bankruptcy, in the worse case. As a result, the business atmosphere in China is not very healthy, as cheaters are not punished as they should, and those who are generous and working hard can suffer from some inglorious loaners. Introduction of Swedish Kronifogden would surely help a lot in about this area?

    2.Another major problem is that the social economical support to those who has lost the capability to support themselves financially is too weak. When the main labor force in a family suffers from some accident, the whole family would then fall into misery. They would be able to get their food and clothing, which is cheap and easy to earn, but they would have difficulty to pay their medical care and the education of their kids.

    A final word about the political system and the legitimacy of Chinese government, which is the concern of many Swedes I suppose. In the last 3 decades, Chinese leadership has been changed every 10 years, basically completely, quite similar to the situation is USA. So one leadership administration cannot sit longer than 10 years. And all major issues of the country are decided by the leadership group instead of one person. You may call it totalitarian, but it is a mild and sound form of it, far from Stalin rule. Actually it is a kind of elite rule – the society is ruled by a group of people who have decent education, and has worked in the society management from bottom level up. There are harsh competition to reach the top too, and one has to show great competence, patience and intelligence to reach the top. Is this a very bad system?

    Is Western democracy of present form a perfect solution to all social problems? It has produced Bush the younger who caused one disaster after another to USA and the world and a whole, and it is producing the extremely arrogant and self-centric Donald Trump now. The Democracy System has paralyzed Greece and some other countries for years in their economy chaos. Could we really believe that it is perfect? It is almost perfect when everything is going on well, but it lacks the capability to remedy serious problems of the society such as those confronting Greece, is it not so??

  3. You seems to have a too little brain to understand different points of view,even though you try hard. And simply marking those who disagree with you as attackers paid by somboday only shows how well you are educated.

    Could you make a comments about the three points I have listed which you have repeatedly distorted in your articles?

    No,you have neither arguments nor courage to do it. All you are capable is to fabricate and write worthless gossips and then boast that you have made great discovery,what a shame