Memo Reveals Propaganda Instructions to Publishers and the Media

Last month, author Zhang Yihe filed a lawsuit against The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) for banning her recent book. The officials in GAPP have publicly denied their action, but new evidence has emerged on the Internet showing Zhang Yihe’s charge is based on facts. Here are the internal meeting minutes which were apparently taken by an attendee at the meeting of propaganda officials, book publishers, and media managers, translated by CDT:

Minutes of the News Briefing, Bureau of Propaganda and Management, State Administration of Radio Film and Television

Time: Morning, Jan. 12, 2007, Friday

Place: Conference Room, 2nd Floor, State Administration of Radio Film and Television Building

Chair: Wang Danyan, Vice Chief, Bureau of Propaganda and Administration

Before the Two Sessions, the main TV channels must report their prime-time schedules beforehand.

Administrator of Propaganda Liu Yunshan recently instructed CCTV that before this year’s Two Sessions [the annual NPC and CPPCC meetings], news, features, and literature and art programs must stress the achievements the Party has reached since the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. While ensuring the right direction of propaganda, we must manage culture and entertainment programs better, advance the development of culture, and foster the main melody. We must plan as a whole, reasonably arrange historical programs, and launch Chinese modern history and Party history education with methods that are enjoyable to the people. The prime-time schedules of the main TV channels must be reported one month ahead of time.

Watch the running the red light trend in the publishing circle:

In the recent Special Meeting of the Publishing Industry presided over by Deputy Administrator of Propaganda Li Dongsheng, the “running the red light” trend in the publishing circle was severely criticized. Eight serious problems were pointed out:

1, Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House: Cang Sang. A senior official wrote a letter, saying that after reading the book, one will question the purpose of fighting the civil war.

2, Hainan Publishing House: I Object: The Road to Politics by a People’s Congress Member

3, Hunan Literature and Art Publishing House: Past Stories of Peking Opera Stars, by Zhang Yihe

4, China Broadcast and Television Publishing House: The Family History of an Ordinary Chinese

5, Dan’an Publishing House: My Days at the Supplement Division of the People’s Daily

6, Friendship Publishing House: Era of History

7, China Three Gorges Publishing House: Painting and Calligraphy Series

8, Gansu Literature and Art Publishing House: Selling book code with large discount. One for 5,000 yuan.

Li also mentioned This is How it Ruyan@sars.com and The Press, two books published by International Broadcast Publishing House. The latter advocates journalists’ independent conscience, and unveils invisible journalistic rules.

Officials attending the meeting agreed those problems were serious political mistakes and have “run the red light.” The General Administration of Press and Publication will punish the publishing houses by revoking publishing codes or other measures.

Notice on recent propaganda



At the Special Meeting of the Publishing Industry, Deputy Administrator Li Dongsheng and GAPP deputy director Wu Shulin spoke on recent propaganda issues. Officials from Administration of Radio Film and Television, who attended the meeting, organized the two officials’ speeches as below:

1, Create a correct atmosphere for the 17th Party congress, promote the main melody, and praise the merits of socialism. Something noteworthy is the negative trend emerging from the recent historical books. The trend must be closely watched.

2, Military subjects must be cautiously dealt with. Don’t excessively publicize military facilities. Avoid being used by the West to support the “China Threat”.

3, Media reports on important historic events and persons must strictly follow the spirit of the No. 29 document.

4, Insist on the reform and opening-up policy. Don’t publicize speeches affirming privatization.

5, Deal lightly with Anti-Rightist Movement subjects. In principle, avoid talking about them. Insist on “Anti-Rightist Movement is necessary, but is severely exaggerated”. Related to this, the press must be cautious in talking about the independent spirit of public intellectuals.

6, Watch the erroneous trend of denying the historic achievements of the Party and comrade Mao Zedong by denying the Culture Revolution.

7, Avoid exposing inside stories of the judiciary by using the name of rights protection.

8, Avoid exposing inside stories by using the name of public opinion supervision.

9, Avoid sensationalizing hot events against discipline and with bias. Write sufficiently on maintaining social stability. Avoid stirring up social contradictions.

10, Avoid fueling western propaganda without sober political opinion. Recent media reports are inclined to vigorously praise western political systems.

11, Watch international reports. Don’t criticize other countries’ internal policies. Avoiding mistakes in using maps. Energy collaboration follows the policy of “just do it, don’t talk about it.” Refrain from sensationalizing subjects about Korea. Commemorative stories about Nanjing Massacre and the July 7 Incident must stick to the principle of propaganda serving reality. Avoid interfering in Sino-Japan relations.

12, Don’t comment, speculate, and question important national projects from a western standpoint or viewpoint.

13, Don’t play up the aristocratic lifestyles of upper-class people.

14, Legal reports should avoid exaggerating sexual crimes. Stories about women shouldn’t exaggerate multiple relationships.

15, Ethnicity must be considered in press reports in the Year of Pig. In principle, avoid mentioning “pigs”.

16, Abide by the propaganda discipline, stand in the same line with the central government and the people.

17, Positively publicize anti-corruption. Don’t play up vulgar lifestyles such as having mistresses (ÂåÖ‰∫å•∂) by using the name of anti-corruption.

18, Don’t arbitrarily import foreign cartoons. We have imported too many of those films, which have fueled the worship of western lifestyles.

19, Strictly control the media reports on the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution. Don’t play up the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

20, Don’t publicize the independence of universities. Avoid denying education system reform by using the name of the 30th anniversary of the resumption of the college entrance exam.

(Director Wang stressed that above opinions are meeting records. Transmission must be limited)