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People 'sign up' to slam media bias
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A Chinese website is appealing to people around the world to "sign up" for its protest against alleged Western media bias in their coverage of last month's riots in Lhasa.

The site, which can be accessed via news portal Sina.com, appeared on Friday, and at press time had garnered more than 1.14 million signatures, most of which came from people on the mainland.

The website's appeal read: "Violent crimes of beating, smashing, looting and arson broke out in Lhasa in early March, but Western media organizations such as CNN and BBC have churned out untrue and distorted reports of the event. Please sign your name here to lodge your strong protest."

As of midday on Friday, about 11 percent of the signatures were from Beijing, 8 percent were from Guangdong and 7 percent were from Jiangxi, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Of those sent from overseas, 20 percent were from the United States.

The website also asked people for their comments on the media coverage.

"The Chinese people are indignant," one anonymous post read.

"Full support to the Chinese government in safeguarding national unity," another unnamed person wrote.

CNN was the target for many people's comments.

"Shame on you, CNN. You have chosen to team with arrogance and prejudice, and stand against fact and truth," an anonymous post read.

The comments were posted despite the news company publishing a statement saying it had "provided comprehensive coverage of all sides of this story".

Diplomat complains

In another development, a Chinese official in New York on Thursday accused Western media of misleading the public about the recent protests in Tibet with "distorted reports".

"There have been some misleading reports and comments, there have been some distorted facts and wrong conclusions, wrong judgments," Kuang Weilin, deputy consul-general of the Chinese consulate in the city, told reporters at a press conference.

He said some photographs on the CNN and BBC websites had been deliberately cropped to denigrate China.

"People not only in China, but also in some Chinese communities here in this country, are very angry about CNN's and the BBC's coverage of Tibet," he said.

(China Daily via agencies April 5, 2008)

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