Updated: 01/12/2013 00:21

End to China media row dims reform hopes

End to China media row dims reform hopes

Action by China's leaders to contain a row that saw rare protests against censorship shows there is no consensus for immediate change. 

Analysts say this is despite rising calls for press freedom and other reforms. 

China's president-in-waiting, Xi Jinping, was installed as the new Communist chief in November. 

Since then, the authorities have sounded themes of better serving the people, respecting rights and clamping down on corruption. 

But the way the government handled the rare public dispute suggested radical change is some way off. 

The row flared after the liberal Southern Weekly newspaper had an editorial urging greater protection for rights replaced with one praising the ruling party. 

Angered by what they saw as heavy-handed, old-style censorship, demonstrators took to the streets with others speaking out in China's increasingly vocal online community.

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