Journalist Ejected From Fourth NZ Event After CCP Pressure
Accredited journalist Nick Wang was refused entry to Asia Forum's meeting, 'The Peaceful Rise of China' featuring the Chinese Ambassador last Thursday night in Wellington.
The latest in a string of denied entries for the Capital Chinese News editor has left him concerned about the freedom of press in New Zealand.
Mr Wang said he has now been ejected from four events involving Chinese communist officials.
“We cannot become a 'one voice system' like the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
Initially, Mr Wang sent an email to the Forum organisers stating his wish to attend with staff and a small TV camera “to take footage for late news items.”
Organisers replied in an email that, “Unfortunately all the places are now taken.”
Following this email, Amnesty International Campaigns manager Gary Reese emailed the organisers stating his wish to attend and was told he was welcome.
Mr Wang also received a phone call at his office from organisers to say that no media were allowed at the event.
Mr Wang told The Epoch Times that a TVNZ journalist attended the forum.
A further email from organisers warned Mr Wang not to go to the forum as it was “by invitation only.”
Attendee Chris Thomas said he and his friend Mi Weni “walked in off the street without an invitation.” He said no one approached them or questioned their attendance.
Mr Wang said the Asia Forum organisation lied to him and he was ejected because the Chinese Ambassador was speaking and “there is now a trend in New Zealand to kowtow to the dictatorship of China.”
“This is disgraceful to our nation and Kiwi values of democracy and human rights.”
1) July 2007, ejected from Asia Forum's meeting in Wellington, 'The Peaceful Rise of China'
2) March 2007, ejected by NZ Police during a Parliamentary photo opportunity of visiting Chinese official
3) June 20, 2006, ejected from Winston Peters' office by the visit of Chinese Foreign Affairs official.
4) April 2006, refused entry to Government House event for visiting Chinese Premier Mr Wen Jiabao. After Prime Minister Helen Clark's official intervened Nick Wang was told the situation had changed and was permitted to attend for photos.
Amnesty's Mr Reese said there appeared to be an agenda to have Mr Wang barred from such events, which “needs to be strongly challenged…this is inconsistent with media freedom.”
Mr Reese recently challenged a Chinese Embassy security guard present during a separate incident at Parliament in March about why Mr Wang was barred at that time.
The reason the security guard gave in reply was, “Because we don't like him.”
Mr Wang said his newspaper has reported on items that the Chinese regime tries to suppress; such as Falun Gong, Tibet and the Dalai Lama. He also reports on visits between Chinese authorities and New Zealand officials.
“I just want to report on current, important news.”
He is considering taking the Asia Forum to the small claims tribunal this week for compensation for staff wages.
Mr Wang has also contacted the Patron of the Asia Forum, Governor General, His Excellency Anand Satyanand, advising him of the situation.
According to Asia Forum's website it is a discussion group which meets monthly in Wellington. “The objective is to improve understanding of Asian political issues and their impact on trade and investment and to encourage the exchange of views of those with similar interests in different fields.”
Asia Forum organiser Farib Sos was unavailable for comment at the time of print.
Nick Wang has worked as a journalist in Wellington for nine years and has held Parliament accreditation for eight years.
He has been approved to cover many state leaders' visits, including Prince Charles'.