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US-China Relation

Did China Stop the VOA Interview of Guo Wengui?

China is reported to have interfered with a Voice of America (VOA) interview of Guo Wengui (郭文贵) and to cause VOA to stop airing its interview. Guo is a business tycoon who fled from China because he feared being arrested for bribing officials. Once he came to the U.S., on multiple occasions, Guo revealed the corruption of top level officials, including in the VOA interview.

The Chinese government has accused Guo of bribery and has tried to bring him back to China. After the VOA interview event, China aired a video recording in which Ma Jian, former Deputy Minister of State Security who had been taken down for corruption, confessed to receiving money from Guo.

On April 21, Lu Kang, the Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received several questions from Western media about this incident:

VOA reporter: During his interview with VOA, Guo Wengui brought up some sensitive things about sensitive people, including Xi Jinping and Wang Qishan. Is what he said true? Do you have any comments? Also, China issued a Red Notice on Guo Wengui to Interpol just before the interview. Was it a coincidence or was it on purpose?

Lu Kang: For the first question, we have said that Guo Wengui was a criminal suspect under Interpol’s Red Notice. So if you choose to believe what he said, that’s your thing. We don’t believe it. For the second question, Interpol is the second largest international organization among governments, with over 100 years of history and 190 members. We trust that it is serious about what it does.

BBC reporter: Just another follow up, again a point of clarification on the question that was already answered before. The question is about the VOA interview that was stopped and was kept from proceeding. Am I right in assuming that you are saying the Chinese government was not involved in it whatsoever?

Lu Kang: I think the VOA reporter asked the question just now and I have clearly answered it.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter: The first one is to follow up on the previous question. It was reported that the Chinese embassy reached out to VOA and contacted them directly and asked them not to air the interview of Guo Wengui. So is that not the case? Can you confirm that?

Lu Kang: VOA itself did not ask this question. Why are you so interested in it?

{Editor’s note: Asia News reported, “Guo wanted to speak about corruption among China’s Communist leaders. Beijing got Interpol to issue an arrest warrant against him.”}

Sources:
VOA, April 21, 2017
http://www.voachinese.com/a/guo-wengui-interview-20170421/3820414.html
Asia News, April 22, 2017
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Voice-of-America-cuts-interview-with-Guo-Wengui-over-rampant-corruption-in-China-40542.html

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