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Chinese Media Slam Dutch Reporter and Broadcaster NOS After On-Air Incident

On Twitter, many saw the moment as an example of Chinese treatment of the press, while many on Weibo viewed the incident as an example of foreign media putting China in a bad light.

Manya Koetse

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The moment a Dutch journalist was dragged away by a Chinese security guard during a live broadcast made international headlines, triggering foreign criticism over media oppression in China. But Chinese media outlets and social media users criticize the Dutch reporters for refusing to cooperate with security and painting China in a negative light.

A Dutch reporter made international headlines this week after he was dragged away by security guards during a live news broadcast for NOS, the Dutch state broadcaster, about the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

The incident happened on Friday, February 4th (link to video). Journalist Sjoerd den Daas was doing a live broadcast outside Beijing’s National Stadium for NOS (Dutch Broadcasting Foundation) covering the Olympics when he was pushed away from the camera by a local security volunteer.

The moment the guard steps up to Den Daas and his cameraman, he says: “Let’s move, brothers” (“咱们往前走哥儿们”). Den Daas then says: “Wait, I’m in the middle of a broadcast.” The guard continues to say: “You’re not allowed to stay in this spot,” and pulls Den Daas away. As the guard made it impossible for Den Daas to continue, the broadcaster cut away from the shot and returned to the studio anchor.

The NOS broadcaster later posted about the issue on Twitter, writing:

Our correspondent @sjoerddendaas was pulled away from the camera by security guards at 12.00 pm live in the NOS News Bulletin. Unfortunately, this is increasingly becoming a daily reality for journalists in China. He is fine and was able to finish his story a few minutes later.”

The editor-in-chief of NOS News, Marcel Gelauf, stated that the incident is “a painful example of the current state of press freedom in China. Don’t touch journalists.”

On Twitter, some suggested that the reporters were forcibly removed by Chinese officials because the background of the broadcast wasn’t “flattering enough.” Author Andy Ngo said that “the incident illustrates the tight control Beijing has on journalists.”

On February 5th, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also responded1 to the incident, calling it an “isolated event” which “will not affect foreign media’s reporting at the Beijing Games.”

“Deliberately Provocative”

After the incident, various Chinese media condemned the reporter and the Dutch broadcaster. The nationalistic Chinese online media outlet Guancha News (观察者网) posted a video of the incident on Weibo, writing:

‘Look at the sweat on my head.’ Last night at 8 pm, when the entire world was following the opening ceremony of the Olympics, a Beijing security guard was working hard, politely asking a Dutch reporter who had entered a temporarily restricted area to leave. But this reporter not only failed to show his identity papers, but he was also disrespectful to the security staff and even made a “performance” all by himself. The Dutch news outlet NOS, for which the journalist works, also issued an online post smearing the Chinese security personnel for “interfering” with the journalist’s work. So, we must expose their faces!

In the Gengzhi Ge (耿直哥) column2, the Chinese-language state newspaper Global Times criticized the NOS for reiterating Western media clichés about Chinese interference with journalists when writing that these kinds of events are a “daily reality for journalists in China.”

They also said the Dutch media was being “deliberately provocative”3 by entering a “controlled area,” with the Dutch journalist and cameraman allegedly failing to show their ID when confronted by security staff and further “inflaming the situation.”

The Global Times claims that the intersection where the Dutch media was standing during their live broadcast was already marked as a limited access area since February 3rd, and was only accessible to vehicles and pedestrians with special documents for the opening ceremony.

Global Times writes that the area where the Dutch crew was filming was marked as a restricted access area.

A map marking the area where the Dutch reporter was standing during the incident as a temporarily controlled area.

When the Dutch media continued to report without showing proof that they were allowed to operate in this controlled area, the security staff reportedly went up to them and asked them to leave. The reporter then went on to do his live broadcast, which is the moment that went viral. As the guard tells the reporters that they need to move and tells them they can’t be in this spot, he also can be heard saying “Look at my sweaty head!” (“瞅我这一脑袋汗”), as the guard indeed seems to break out in a sweat and starts pulling the reporter away to get him out of the restricted area. Den Daas then can be heard saying: “What are you doing?!”

According to Gengzhi Ge, the Dutch NOS reporter and camera crew can only be blamed for this incident themselves by accessing an area they should not have accessed without the right papers, failing to show their ID, not properly communicating, not following security orders and not showing respect to the local guards.

The author also argues that the very fact that the NOS themselves tweeted that their reporter was fine and was able to finish the interview just minutes later shows that the security staff was not interfering with their work at all, concluding: “For some arrogant and ignorant Western media, isn’t it easier to slander and discredit others rather than admitting they are at fault themselves?”

Popular law blogger Han Dongyan (@韩东言), who has over 2.2 million followers on Weibo, called the Dutch reporter a “drama queen,” with other Weibo users referring to Den Daas as a ‘pengci‘ – a term that literally means ‘porcelain bumping’ and refers to people who pretend to be injured or hurt for their own benefit.

“They just used this as an excuse to make a fuss,” other Weibo commenters say, also writing: “They’re discrediting China by misrepresenting the facts.”

Although several Weibo users labeled the journalist as ‘Dutch trash’, there were also those who praised his Chinese speaking skills.

On February 5th, Sjoerd den Daas posted about the incident on his Twitter account. According to the Dutch reporter, he did follow police orders regarding the area where they were allowed to film. He claims that, just after going live, he was “forcefully pulled out of the picture without any warning” and that the man who dragged him away, a plainclothes man wearing a “Public Safety Volunteer” badge, did not identify himself.

Den Daas writes that it was not properly explained to him what they had done wrong. They were able to continue their interview from a parking lot around the corner.

He also adds: “In recent weeks, we, like several foreign colleagues, have been hindered or stopped several times by the police while reporting on subjects related to the Games. Therefore, it’s hard to see last night’s incident as an isolated incident, as the IOC claims, although such interference rarely happens live on broadcast.”

By Manya Koetse

With contributions by Miranda Barnes.

1Although the IOC spokesperson claimed they had been in touch with the NOS, the Dutch broadcaster said there had been no contact with the IOC at all.
2 Gengzhi Ge (耿直哥), meaning “Honest Brother,” is a Global Times column by Gao Lei (高雷, 1985).
3 “无理取闹” wú lǐ qǔ nào: “vexatious,” “to make trouble without reason.”

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Pax Politica

    February 8, 2022 at 3:40 am

    As an Asian, I am with the Chinese security guard. The western journalists aren’t only casting bad lights on themselves but on westerners in general. Turning the images of westerners in general from smart, honest and fair to one that is cunning, loud and selfish. He is in China yet he thought he was superior to the Chinese.

  2. Avatar

    Xexos

    February 9, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    Yes you are correct. Silly westerners put them in reeducation camp!!! Take away their freedom.

  3. Avatar

    He-Man vd Z

    February 9, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    I’m glad that I got to know this website and Manya, who is willing to provide a different perspective. I know this will not bring much traffic or visibility, because most of observations on this website don’t fit into the mainstream narrative or code. I have to say this is true journalism, adhering to the author’s own principle, rather than story telling. As a follower, I’ll be happy to see Manya becoming active on bilibili one day, where China’s young generation can get to know you.

  4. Avatar

    W

    March 2, 2022 at 1:22 am

    To XEXOS:Nah, Silly westerners won’t put them in reeducation camp or take away their freedom, westerners kill them directly in the Middle East and Africa,that is totally fine,isn’t it?

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China Insight

Pelosi in Taiwan: “1.4 Billion People Do Not Agree with Interference in China’s Sovereignty Issues”

“The Old Witch has landed!”, many commenters wrote on Weibo when Pelosi arrived in Taiwan.

Manya Koetse

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August 2nd was a tumultuous day on Chinese social media, with millions of netizens closely following how Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan. Chinese state media propagate the message that not only Chinese authorities condemn the move, but that the Chinese people denounce it just as much.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is all the talk on Weibo, where netizens are closely following the latest developments and what they might mean for the near future of Taiwan and Sino-American relations.

“Today is a sensitive time, as it is said that Pelosi will fly into Taiwan tonight, challenging the one-China principle,” Global Times political commentator Hu Xijin wrote on Weibo on Tuesday afternoon, while Pelosi’s plane was still en route:

“At this time I’d like to tell everyone, that I firmly believe the Chinese government will definitely take a series of countermeasures, which include military actions. The Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of National Defense have repeatedly said they are “on the alert and combat-ready” and will not “sit and watch.” This is the country’s prestige, how could they not hit back? So let’s wait and see what will happen next.”

Tuesday was an extremely tumultuous day on Chinese social media as Taiwan- and Pelosi-related hashtags popped up one after the other, and news and videos kept flooding the platform, sometimes leading to a temporary overload of Weibo’s servers.

Around 20.30, an hour before Pelosi was expected to land in Taiwan at that time, more than half of all the trending search topics on Weibo related to Pelosi and Taiwan as virtually everyone was following the plane’s route and when it would land.

Not long before the expected landing of Pelosi’s plane, footage circulated on Weibo showing the iconic Taipei 101 building with a display of greetings to Pelosi, welcoming her to Taiwan and thanking her for her support.

By Tuesday night, Chinese official channels promoted the hashtags “The United States Plays With Fire & Will Burn Itself by Taiwan Involvement Provocation” (#美台勾连挑衅玩火必自焚#) along with the hashtag “1.4 Billion People Do Not Agree with Interference in China’s Sovereignty Issues” (​​#干涉中国主权问题14亿人不答应#).

Image posted by Communist Youth League on Weibo.

Millions of Chinese netizens followed flight radar livestreams, with one livestream by China.org receiving over 70 million viewers at one point.

On Tuesday night at 22:44 local time, after taking a detour, Pelosi’s plane finally landed in Taipei. About eight minutes later, Nancy Pelosi, wearing a pink suit, stepped out of the plane together with her delegation.

“The Old Witch has landed!”, many commenters wrote on Weibo, where Nancy Pelosi has been nicknamed ‘Old Witch’ recently.

Not long after, Hu Xijin posted on both on Twitter (in English) and on Weibo (in Chinese), writing that Pelosi’s landing in Taiwan opened an “era of high-intensity competition between China and US over Taiwan Strait.” Hu wrote that the PLA is announcing a series of actions, including military drill operations and live-fire exercises in zones surrounding Taiwan from August 4 to 7.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying (华春莹) also posted a series of tweets condemning the “wrong and dangerous path” the U.S. is allegedly heading down, reiterating the same ‘1.4 billion people do not agree’ narrative that was previously propagated on Weibo by official channels: “Making themselves an enemy of the 1.4 billion Chinese people will not end up well. Acting like a bully in front of the whole world will only make everyone see that the US is the biggest danger to world peace.”

Many netizens expressed frustrations over how seemingly easy it was for Pelosi to land in Taiwan despite repeated warnings. “It’s not like I want us to go to war,” one person wrote on Weibo: “But they are getting off too easy. For days we shouted about countermeasures, what kind of countermeasure is this?”

“Even our community guard who makes 1500 a month [$220] does a better job; if he says you can’t come in, you can’t come in,” another blogger wrote.

The majority of commenters do express their dissatisfaction and anger about Pelosi coming to Taiwan, some even writing: “I hope that Taiwan is liberated when I wake up” or “We must unify again, once the Old Witch is gone, we can do so.”

Passed midnight the hashtag “There Is But One China” (#只有一个中国#), initiated by CCTV, picked up on Weibo and received over 320 million views. The post by CCTV that only said “there is but one China” was forwarded on Weibo over 1,3 million times.

“Taiwan is China’s Taiwan,” many people commented.

“I don’t think I can sleep tonight,” some wrote.

Meanwhile, on FreeWeibo, a website monitoring censored posts on Chinese social media platform Weibo, there are some posts casting another light on the Taiwan issue.

“Regarding ‘Taiwan is China’s Taiwan.’ Every person can vote, there’s multi-party rule, and there can be democratic elections. Only then can we talk about a reunification,” one comment said. It was censored shortly after.

For our other articles relating to Pelosi and her Taiwan visit, click here.

By Manya Koetse
With contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Media

Chinese Internet Company Sina Abruptly Shuts Down ‘Sina Taiwan’ Platform

Sina Taiwan is longer available and has suddenly suspended its operations in Taiwan.

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WEIBO SHORT | Weibo Shorts are concise articles on topics that are trending. This article was first published

On August 2nd, Taiwanese media sources reported that the online Sina Taiwan platform was longer available and had suddenly suspended its operations in Taiwan without prior notification.

Sina (新浪) is the company that also owns (Sina) Weibo. Founded in 1998, it is a leading Chinese Internet company and media platform that operates various localized websites, including Sina Taiwan (sina.com.tw) which was established in November 1998.

Multiple sources, including Taiwanese news site ETToday , reported news of the closure of Sina Taiwan today. According to ETToday, Sina Taiwan’s parent company confirmed the company has suspended its services in the Taiwan market and ceased operations on August 1st due to the company’s “operational strategy.”

Weibo also set up a localized version in traditional characters for the Taiwan market. Earlier today, the Weibo Taiwan site (tw.weibo.com) also seemed to be inaccessible for a while but was accessible again at the time of writing.

On Weibo, the official ‘Sina Taiwan’ Weibo account (@新浪台湾爆头条) posted its last update on July 14.

News of Sina Taiwan’s abrupt closure comes at a time of heightened tensions over Taiwan between China and the U.S. in light of reports of a potential Taiwan visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (more here).

However, although the timing is noteworthy and Weibo users wonder what it means, it is unsure if Sina’s decision is related to this issue. The English-language Sina portal (english.sina.com) stopped updating its homepage earlier this year.

By Manya Koetse and Miranda Barnes

 

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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