In China, several political bodies are in charge of Internet content control. At the highest level, there is the Central Propaganda Department, which ensures that media and cultural content follows the official line as mandated by the CCP. Then there is the State Council Information Office (SCIO), which has established “Internet Affairs Bureau” to oversee all Websites that publish news, including the official sites of news organizations as well as independent sites that post news content.
Recently, the ninth session of the 2009 SCIO Internet News Work Training Session just finished in Beijing. All participants are top editors and managers of major news websites in China. The trainers include:
* Li Wufeng, Bureau Chief of the State Council Information Office Internet Affairs Bureau
* Peng Bo, Deputy Chief of the State Council Information Office Internet Affairs Bureau
* Professor Zhu Feng, Peking University School of International Relations
* Song Fufan, Director of the Ideology and Political Education Teaching and Research Section of the Marxist Theory Research Department at the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China
* Zhai Huisheng, Party Secretary of the All China Federation of Working Journalists
* Professor Gao Gang, Secretary of the Party Committee of Renmin University School of Journalism and Communication
* Xia Chenghua, Deputy Chief of the Central Government Stability Preservation Leading Group Office
* Zhou Xisheng, Deputy Chief of Xinhua News Agency, Director-General of Xinhua News Agency
Soon after the training finished, one of the participants released her notes from this session online. CDT has translated the entire collection of notes from this 2009 SCIO Internet News Work training session; in total there are eight articles, which we will publish consecutively in coming days. CDT would like to thank the translator, who wishes to remain anonymous. Read notes from the first and second sections of the training. This is the third installment:
The Current International Situation and Our Country’s Foreign Policy
Professor Zhu Feng, Peking University School of International Relations
A. The media’s reporting of Obama’s visit to China was very unprofessional
i. China-U.S. relations are very complicated; one should not mechanically apply the word “harmonious.”
ii. China and the U.S. have not declared that they will establish a “relationship as partners.”
iii. Not only did the online media simply say good words and select nice sounding articles to reprint, it even republished an article from a small Spanish newspaper.
iv. There was no in-depth background analysis; there was only surface level policy explanation.
v. It was announced that Premier Wen does not approve of the phrase “Group of Two”*. However, the U.S. has never used the “Group of Two” concept.
vi. There were no prominent articles about important views raised by Obama.
B. The actual power gap between China and the U.S. is still quite large. This can be seen by the following:
i. National strength in many areas. [The U.S.] is strong and in the lead in more than one area.
ii. Ability to resolve problems, for example the Somali pirates that captured Chinese sailors.
iii. Ability to mobilize the international community, having countries within their sphere of political influence.
iv. The power of a great nation to influence with words, ability to create solutions to resolve issues.
C. The media creates the viewpoint with which Chinese people see the world. The greatest security challenge facing China comes from within. The increase in China’s power actually comes from systemic transformations. Online news media must pay close attention to China’s domestic problems. The advantage of America compared to China is that it has mature institutions that have gradually developed through a lengthy process. Therefore, China compared to America is an “unrefined” great nation.
D. The success of Obama’s visit to China does not lie in smiling photo-ops, but in the following areas:
i. China and the U.S. are both continually pushing forward mechanisms to oversee relations between the two countries.
ii. China and the U.S. created new measures with which to solve problems.
iii. China and the U.S. displayed new enthusiasm and vision.
E. Problems that China must avoid on its road to development
i. Avoid becoming like Japan
During World War II, Japan impulsively attacked Pearl Harbor, anxious to fight a decisive battle. The result was that it became an occupied territory.
ii. Avoid becoming like Latin America
When Latin American countries began developing, they did whatever the U.S. told them to do. They lacked a concept of self-sovereignty. This caused their domestic economies to be hollow; their economic prosperity was unable to be lasting.
F. Conclusion: the real “world superpower” emerges through waiting. As long as you make few mistakes, others will “give you” a chance.
* “Group of two”, or G-2 (Chinese: liang guo ji tuan), is a concept introduced by former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s. It implies a U.S.-China convergence of interests, and a relationship whereby the two countries regulate the world economy.
[To be continued]