These are regular summaries of breaking news, important commentaries and other tidbits from Chinese media, translated with background by CMP staff.
- Xinhua: Hong Kong SAR Government Working on Talks With Federation of Students
― In a piece that remained at the top of the front page news feed at Xinhua Online on October 16, China’s official news agency reported on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, that the government of the Hong Kong SAR was seeking to re-open dialogue with student leaders of ongoing protests in the territory. The Xinhua report quoted remarks made by Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam (谭志源) that day, in which he said he hoped the government and student leaders could meet soon . But Xinhua emphasized that, in Tam’s words, that discussions of political reform had to move forward on “a legal basis, namely in line with the Basic Law and relevant decisions from the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.”
- CY Leung: "Occupy Central" Cannot Resolve the Question of Universal Suffrage
― According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, CY Leung, the chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said late Wednesday that Hong Kong should “handle the question of universal suffrage in a practical, rational, peaceful and legal manner.” Xinhua also reported Leung as saying that the Occupy Central movement had “impacted Hong Kong’s international reputation, its economic activities, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, and the normal lives of citizens.” Xinhua made no mention of allegations of financial impropriety recently made against Leung, a topic that has lately dominated Hong Kong coverage in the territory and overseas.
- Xi Jinping Addresses Forum on Literature and the Arts
― The official Xinhua News Agency reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping gave an address on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, to a forum on literature and the arts (文艺工作座谈会). At the meeting, which was attended by Chinese representatives from diverse creative enterprises, including literature, drama, music, dance and film, Xi Jinping stressed that “a flourishing culture” was an integral part of “realizing the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people.”
- SARFT Cuts Down on Singing Competition Programs for Summer Satellite TV
― Xinhua News Agency reports that China’s State Administration of Radio Film and Television has imposed new regulations on song competition programs on satellite television, citing the need to promote more efficient use of resources. There are currently nine song competition programs being aired on satellite television in China for the summer season. This will now be reduced to seven, with only three programs airing during primetime.
- QQ Special Coverage Page on Wang Lin Scandal
― As the frenzy continues in China’s media over the disgraced Qigong master Wang Lin, QQ.com has set up a special news pages aggregating coverage of the scandal.
- Jiangxi Daily Celebrates Listing on China’s First Top 100 Newspaper List, Cites Self-Discipline
― Jiangxi Daily, the official Party-run newspaper of Jiangxi province, reported today that it made China’s list of top 100 newspapers along with its sister publication, Jiangnan Metropolis Daily, after a strict assessment by the government’s General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP). This is the first time GAPP has released its own top 100 list. The list is decided on the basis of "originality, social impact and economic benefit." Jiangxi Daily noted that publications in its group had "strictly adhered to correct guidance of public opinion" — that they had done their best, in other words, to uphold the Party line.
- Seeking Truth to Internet Users: Stop Griping and Get to Work
― Seeking Truth, an official journal of the central CCP leadership, has run a new piece criticizing the use of the internet to attack the government and spread negativity about China. The piece concludes: "We must have an accurate grasp of online public opinion. The government must . . . see online public opinion as a way to understand the popular mood . . . At the same time, we must recognise that China’s mainstream are those who are busy going to work everyday, those employees busy at their jobs; they are those men and women pushing their carts at the supermarket; they are those strolling at the park on the holidays. In the online world, they are the silent majority, and they are the principal part of our modern society. . . When a voice emerges, one must ask who that voice represents, and how many people it can represent. One cannot listen to the wind and simply assume there is rain." Seeking Truth, however, seems not to realize those people at the supermarket are using smartphones.
- Liu Xia: must the "Chinese dream" become a "Chinese nightmare"?
― On June 9, 2013, Liu Hui (刘晖), the younger brother of Liu Xia (刘霞), the wife of jailed dissident and Nobel Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波), was sentenced to 11 years in jail on a criminal fraud charge that legal experts in China have said was a miscarriage of justice. In an open letter today, Liu Xia appeals directly to Chinese President Xi Jinping. She writes: "I believe the verdict of the court is entirely unjust. . . Mr. Chairman, you talk about the Chinese dream and how it must be realized through every Chinese citizen. I hope this Chinese dream does not become a ‘Chinese nightmare’ for individuals like me."
- Ai Weiwei makes music debut with dark video for single "Dumbass"
― Artist and celebrity dissident Ai Weiwei (艾未未), known for his provocative works of art making thinly veiled criticisms of Chinese society and politics, formally made his rock music debut this week with the video release of his single "Dumbass." The video, filmed by Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle, directly references the nearly three months Ai spent in detention during a 2011 crackdown on political dissidents in China.
- Red Flag Journal: Would the West allow "flesh searches"?
― The CCP’s official Red Flag journal has run a series of articles recently calling for stricter controls on online public opinion in China. A piece posted to the website of Seeking Truth on May 21 answered a question from a reader raising concerns about the phenomenon of the "human flesh search" (crowdsourced investigation and often hazing of individuals online) and personal privacy. Would this sort of thing happen in the West, the reader asked Red Flag journal. The journal responded: "As you say, ‘human flesh searches’, which gather widespread web user participation in the search for and provision of information . . . have an immense power that is difficult to estimate. . . But ‘human flesh searches’ are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they can be advantageous in enforcing moral norms in society and carrying out supervision by public opinion [i.e., monitoring of power]; one the other hand they can harm the personal right to privacy and even cause the spread of online violence."