Last week we posted a story from China in which an undercover reporter filmed workers in a Beijing suburb making rolls out of chopped up cardboard.
China is now saying the story was faked and the reporter has been jailed and, according to the ‘The Beijing Public Security Bureau, will be “severely dealt with according to law.”
Chinese officials claim that the reporter was under pressure from his editors to come up with a story. He wasn’t able to do so, and in desperation, hired a couple of workers to chop up cardboard on camera, mix it with pork, and steam it into popular baozi rolls. The footage, which was broadcast on Beijing Television’s Life Channel on July 8 and then spread globally, created disgust worldwide. You can check it out for yourself here.
Speculation has arisen, however, regarding who actually filed the false report. China recently has been facing charges from the global community regarding the poor quality of its exports. An internal investigation revealing cardboard as the main ingredient in a consumable product has only furthered these accusations and caused even more embarrassment and damage.
It is therefore, entirely within the realm of reason for Chinese officials to claim the story was fabricated and jail the reporter to protect the image of Chinese products.
In my opinion, this is exactly what happened.