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Commentary: When will fake news about China end?
December 27,2019   By:Xinhua
SHANGHAI, Dec. 27, 2019 -- Sticking to facts is always the bottom line for news reports. Unfortunately, some Western media organizations choose to neglect that principle.
 
The Sunday Times, a British newspaper, carried an article Sunday, saying a British girl found a Christmas card sent by foreign inmates in Shanghai Qingpu Prison in China who claim they are forced to work against their will and are seeking help from human rights organization.
 
The article was written by Peter Humphrey, who was himself imprisoned in China for two years after being convicted of data trafficking.
 
The intention to publish the article is not clear, but one thing is for sure: the story is not true, and the accusation is denied by foreign inmates in Qingpu Prison, the only one in Shanghai to hold foreign male criminals.
 
When interviewed by Xinhua about the article, an Italian inmate in the prison said they were not forced to do anything.
 
The owner of the Christmas card producer in east China's Zhejiang Province was also shocked at the news because it was fabricated. He even did not know the contact details or the address of the prison.
 
It is not hard to conduct a fact-check with Qingpu Prison to find out that there are no forced labor by foreign convicts. But some Western news outlets are willing to believe what fits their stereotype on China's human rights.
 
Such farces happened again and again recently, and fabricated or untrue stories easily grabbed international news headlines. In October, 39 Asian migrants were found to have suffocated in a freezing container near London. British media rushed to report that these migrants were Chinese, but they were later identified as Vietnamese. In November, Australian media reported that a Chinese man had defected to Australia and confessed that he had worked as a secret agent in Hong Kong and Taiwan. It only proved that the man, Wang Liqiang, is a convicted fraud and wanted suspect.
 
It should be a code of conduct for news outlets to make sure their stories are true before publishing them.
 
China welcomes objective comments and constructive suggestions on its development. News articles based on fabrication rather than fact cannot taint China's progress, and will only cause those media outlets to lose credibility.
Chinese Dictionary:

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