The seventeenth congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) opens on 15 October 2007. Ahead of this major, five-day event, and in line with China’s media regulations, strict controls are already in place to limit the number of “negative” stories in the news. Under orders from the party’s central propaganda department, chief editors of media outlets are busily “creating favourable public opinion”.
The phrase, like many in the establishment lexicon, is revealing. Propaganda officials seem to believe that “creating” public opinion is as simple as whitewashing the buildings on Beijing’s Chang’an Avenue in advance of the Olympics. The degree of stupidity here makes it difficult to know whether to laugh or cry.
But some commands emanating from on high still retain the capacity to shock. A recent case involves a new set of history textbooks used in Shanghai for one academic year, and which had been enthusiastically praised by liberal academics. These books have now been banned. What is going on? [Full Text]
Li Datong (ÊùéÂ§ßÂêå) is a Chinese journalist and a former editor of Bingdian (Freezing Point).