Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Is this for real?



[Above: The front page of yesterday's Beijing Daily, showing (left-to-right, top-to-bottom) Hu Jintao meeting with the presidents of Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and the Prime Minister (mislabelled 'Premier') of India]

Anyone familiar with the Chinese print media will be used to seeing front page stories like these. They all follow the same pattern:

"Today [insert CCP official here] met [insert foreign toady here], agreeing that [insert propaganda spiel here] the two said that Sino-[insert country name here] relations and mutual friendship are unbreakable"


Indeed, if you can be bothered to read all of these stories (doing so gave me a headache though) you will see President X reaffirming his country's commitment to principle Y and the peaceful development of Z. But why print them out in this obviously ridiculous fashion? Is it a joke? Or is it impossible to relegate any of these meetings to the inside pages?

8 comments:

Matt said...

It does come off a bit Lives of the Saints-ish, but I think you're probably right that it results from inflexible Party guidelines to the layout editors at official dailies.

Bill Rich said...

Promoting the leadership is the primary objective, the the reason for existence of all Chinese government owned media. This goes with the electronic media, not just the print. That's why the first third of all TV news cast is always about Hu or Wen, and why they go to the length of producing these news events so that you can see they are all choreographed.

FOARP said...

@Bill Rich - Had a hard time confirming who exactly does own the Beijing Daily. Of course it was set up in 1952 so it is started life as a party paper, but nowadays at least de jure things seem a bit more complicated. According to their website, Beijing Daily is officially owned by Beijing Daily group, which was set up in 2000 with the approval of the CCP Central Propaganda (I mean, "Publicity") Department and GAPP. Presumably the party still owns Beijing Daily Group, but, other than various messages of congratulations for carrying on the good work of the Central Propaganda (I mean, "Publicity") Department, I couldn't find anything confirming that. Of course, just like any paper in mainland PRC, it is censored and has certain content mandated to it by the government.

Wukailong said...

Usually this kind of stuff comes inside the newspaper (I have one at home with almost exactly the same contents, and I think, the same leaders). The new thing is that it's on the front page.

When I saw it the first time, I thought about creating a "Take your own picture with Hu" attraction at the local amusement park. "Insert your head here!"

FOARP said...

@Wukailong - On the subject of 'Create your own Hu picture', check this out for pathetic sycophancy/wannabe-ism:

http://top81.ws/show.php?f=1&t=824115&m=5490532

I knew all the cadres liked to copy leadership styles (hence all the stupid Jiang glasses, blatant copying of Deng's speaking style, and plastered-on hair cuts) but this really does show what lame yes-men most CCP cadres are.

C. A. Yeung said...

FOARP: Those words of congratulations by Jia Qinglin had clearly referred to the Beijing Daily News Group as 党报 (party newspaper). I also found another press release of GAPP dated 2/8/2006. In this press release, the News Group is, once again, clearly referred to as a "party newspaper". This kind of public ownership disguised in the name of commercial enterprises is the essence of the so-called market economy with Chinese characteristics. It is perfectly in line with the CCP's ideological framework as espoused by Hu Jintao in his latest expose titled 六个为什么 or 6 Whys. You can refer to the section on "why must we persist in a public ownership system in which various types of economic ownership systems co-exist? Why can't we carry out privatization or a 'more pure' form of public ownership?" for more details.

FOARP said...

Cheers C.A.Yeung, my inexpert eyes missed it but you picked it up. I have been thinking about doing a piece on the "6 Whys", but what more can I say than how obviously intellectually bankrupt, ineffectually argumentative, contentious, anti-western, and paranoid they show the party to be about those questions. The idea of avoiding answering questions which you cannot answer properly, as espoused by Deng, seems to have been abandoned in favour of the kind of agit-prop drivel last seen in a Charles Liu post.

justrecently said...

Wukailong: if you insert your head next to Hu Jintao's, make sure that you firmly adhere to the one-China policy, or expect a guillotine come down.