China Halts Premier's Annual Press Conference

China Halts Premier's Annual Press Conference
Image copyright: Kevin Frayer/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Breaking 30 years of precedent, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Monday announced that Premier Li Qiang won't hold his annual press conference at this year's session of the National People's Congress.

  • A government spokesman further stated that Li won't hold such a press conference — which has historically been used by foreign investors and governments to gauge Beijing's upcoming economic policies — in any year through the end of his term in 2027.

The Spin

Anti-China narrative

This cancellation isn't surprising considering how under Xi China has gone from having little press freedom to none. In 2016, Xi said that journalists must have "the correct orientation of public opinion." This is a sign of Xi's continued consolidation of power and distrust of the press.

Pro-China narrative

Western media is reporting on a red herring. Reporters have been writing hit pieces on every issue, from the housing crisis to foreign capital, and don't deserve to interview the premier. Beijing will proceed with its five-year plan to enhance economic prosperity — which will be a boon to the entire global community.

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