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At the National Press Club in Washington, DC on June 21, the Society of Professional Journalists presented an award to Epoch Times reporter Matthew Robertson. It was for his series of investigative reports covering “The atrocity of forced, live organ harvesting in China.”
[Matthew Robertson, Epoch Times Journalist]:
“They’ve given us this award, which means that we’re being acknowledged by the mainstream media, by these experts. This is very heartening.”
[John Nania, Editor-in-Chief, The Epoch Times]:
“It shows that The Epoch Times is bringing to people news that they really need, something that’s really important.’
One of the big challenges in reporting on forced organ harvesting in China is that the Communist Party has gone to great lengths to hide evidence. Robertson’s investigation required considerable research and analysis.
In addition, his reporting touched on one of the Party’s most politically sensitive issues: its violent persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
The media professionals at Friday’s event were impressed by the Epoch Times’ bravery in reporting on the issue.
[Marcus Donner, Award-Winning Photojournalist]:
“It’s a shocking story when you hear it. And Matthew did some amazing work there to get that story out—a story that much larger news organizations had not been able to cover.”
Over the past ten years, the Epoch Times has distinguished itself with with its independent and original reporting. Today, it’s published in more than 20 languages, and has become a leading media on China issues.
China’s People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, has been ordered to prepare for war in a training directive issued this week. The order comes from the General Staff headquarters, which oversees the army.
Forces should train to “fight and win battles,” the directive said.
The strong words are in striking contrast to previous ones. Those had focused more on coordination within different branches of the PLA. In particular, the use of the word “dazheng,” Chinese for “fighting wars,” has not been seen before.
Japan was not mentioned in the directive. But this commentary in the People’s Liberation Army Daily conjures up images of the Japanese invasion of China during World War II. It goes on to suggest Japan is gathering other East Asian countries to quote, “contain China.”
Some Chinese military officials have urged a quick strike to assert China’s sovereignty over the contested Diaoyu, or Senkaku, Islands. This is the metaphor they use: “kill a chicken to scare the monkeys.”
But some political commenters think that the talk of war is empty. That’s because the Chinese regime has more to lose than gain in an all-out war.
[Lan Shu, NTD China Analyst]: “The Diaoyu Islands offer very little material interests, except it can hype up nationalism sentiments. The CCP will lose and ten ASEAN countries will immediately team up with the United States and Japan.
China has not engaged in direct military conflict since 1979 with Vietnam. Right now, it also has a host of critical internal matters to deal with.
[Guo Yongfeng, Founder, Association of Chinese Citizens for Monitoring the Government]: “We cannot even resolve our domestic conflicts and we want to start a war. I don’t believe it is likely to happen. If the CCP really wants to fight, it will be like committing suicide.”
The war talk isn’t an unanimous one either. Senior Chinese officials Jia Qinglin is calling for talks with Japan over the islands without the usual vindictive rhetoric most official Chinese statements about the islands contain.
Japan however says there’s nothing to discuss. It has nationalized the islands—after purchasing them from the previous owner last year.