Willy Lam, a former editor at Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and expert in Chinese politics, said events at the Beijing News took the crisis to a new level.
“This has gone nationwide,” he said. “To call it a tipping point might be too exaggerated but I think that it will go down as a watershed. It is not only editors and reporters showing defiance at one newspaper.
What is happening is these journalists and public intellectuals see a chance that doesn’t come very often. This is a rare case when they have summoned enough courage to challenge the administration.” Prof. Lam said he expected China’s incoming president, Xi Jinping, to push for compromise with the protesting journalists rather than attempting to severely punish them.
“Xi Jinping doesn’t want to be seen as a conservative, reactionary from day one,” he said.