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Köckritz, Angela

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Die Zeit - Germany | 30/08/2012

China correspondents relying on Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visting Beijing this Thursday and Friday with the biggest delegation ever to have travelled to the country. While there she has called on the Chinese leadership to grant more freedom to foreign journalists. Angela Köckritz, China correspondent for the liberal weekly paper Die Zeit, explains in an open letter to the chancellor just how necessary this is: "Some journalists have been harassed or even beaten up by the police or groups of thugs. But I, too, have experienced time and again that the door to my apartment cum office space, which I closed and locked on the way out, stands open when I return. That my computer settings have mysteriously changed. I too am frequently shadowed while conducting research. ... People say you have good relations with Premier Wen Jiabao, a reformer who is now stepping down. What does he think about the relationship between the growing power on the one hand and the increasingly vocal criticism on the other? ... This time you have once again agreed to champion our interests. Do this with insistence and clarity. Because good relations mean more than just good business dealings."

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