The SCMP’s new editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei has a lot of explaining to do.
SCMP’s new editor-in-chief Wang Xiangwei, who has been accused by his own staff of attempting to turn the paper into another China Daily and for replacing all of his best China reporters (such as the multiple-award winning Paul Mooney), has admitted to the AFP that his decision to reduce a major breaking story on the suspicious death of Tiananmen dissident Li Wangyang to a brief was a “bad call”. He denied, however, that he was a stooge for Beijing.
“If I had a hidden agenda, it would have come out a long time ago,” Wang, 47, told AFP in an interview.
“It was never my intention to downplay that story and try to exercise self-censorship,” Wang said in the interview, adding he was “shocked at the scale of the reaction to all of this”.
“I have to make a lot of decisions, and looking back on this one, it was a bad call.”
“I totally reject the accusations made against me by the Wall Street Journal Asia saying I act as a censor, that is totally out of line and totally biased,” Wang told AFP.
“Over the past 16 years I have organised and written many important and politically sensitive stories, and we have never wavered from those. For all those people who have some concerns, read our paper and judge for yourself.”