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Censorship dispute shows that despite reform talk, China insists on tight control of media

China's new Communist Party leaders want to appear more open, but they're not about to give up control of the media. That's the lesson of a dustup involving an influential newspaper whose staff briefly rebelled against especially heavy-handed censorship.

The staff of Southern Weekly returned to work after some controls were relaxed, but public demands for the ouster of the top censor were ignored. Some observers took solace in the fact that no journalists were punished — at least not yet.

China's new leader, Xi Jinping, has raised reformist hopes and struck an especially populist note in vowing to tackle official corruption. But this is not the first time new leadership has raised hopes of liberalizing China, only to push back against people trying to test the limits.