On May 1, 2009, President Obama issued a statement for World Press Freedom Day (May 3). In his statement, he criticized China for its imprisonment and harassment of journalists and restrictions on freedom of the press in general. On May 4, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Chaoxu urged the United States to "respect the facts" and stop criticizing the press freedom situation in China.
Ma argued that that the Chinese Government has been "lawfully" protecting citizens’ freedom of speech and "fully encouraging" the supervision from news media and public opinion.
Source: China News, May 4, 2009.