China Winter Disaster Spurs Propaganda Drive

As China continues to deal with it’s most serious and horribly-timed winter cold-snap in recent memory, Reuters’ John Ruwitch takes a look at how the government has deployed its PR machine to placate the stranded masses:

“After 30 years of reform and opening up, we’ve accumulated a strong material foundation and as long as we’re vigorously organized, we will be fully able to vanquish the current hardship,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told officials in Guangzhou.

For Party leaders, battling the natural disasters that regularly befall the huge, poor country is a chance to reinforce the need for top-down rule. Floods in 1998 and other calamities have also been opportunities for similar drives.

“When one place suffers misfortune, aid comes from all directions,” said the People’s Daily, the Party’s official paper. “That is the traditional virtue of the Chinese nation and even more it is a vivid portrait of the superiority of the socialist system.”

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