The following propaganda instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Dengfeng City Network Information Office: Urgent Notice: All personnel take immediate action to share the following articles via WeChat and Weibo. The deadline is 3:30 pm. This forwarding and commenting task is to be included in the year-end assessment. Please actively share, provide commentary, and forward the screenshot to your groups. (October 10) [Chinese]
This order was issued to promote the circulation of two articles about U.S.-China relations and China’s role in the global order as tit-for-tat tariffs escalated an ongoing trade war between the two countries. The first article is from Xinhua and is titled “Accounting for China’s Contributions to the World”; below is an excerpt translated by CDT:
Some American politicians have described Chinese growth as “driven by U.S. investment in China.” This is not at all true; rather, it is that over one billion Chinese people worked hard. Even when it comes to investing in China, whether it is the flow rate or level of capital stock, the U.S. is not the largest player, let alone the one that “reconstructed China.” According to relevant statistics, since the 1980s, U.S. investment in China has only accounted for about seven to ten percent of foreign investment. On the contrary, the U.S. has made boatloads of money from Chinese investment. [Source]
The second article is titled “The General Downhill Trend of America Has Not Changed,” from Guangming Net; excerpts translated by CDT:
In terms of soft power, Trump has dealt a major blow to the image of the U.S. Trump is significantly stretching thin the international strategic reputation that had been accumulated by the U.S. over many years. This is also affecting allies’ strategic expectations and their interactions with the U.S. For example, after promulgating the “Indo-Pacific” strategy, India, Japan, Australia and other countries have had limited responses, while Sino-Indian and Sino-Japanese relations are actually in the midst of improving. Trump’s speech at the United Nations has been questioned, as the Washington Post admits, “Trump’s America is a bully, not a beacon.” Joseph Nye, the father of soft power, sharply criticized Trump as severely weakening the U.S.’ soft power and greatly reducing its attractiveness.
Chinese society wants to eradicate the “illness of fearing and worshipping the U.S.”
In 1938, Mao Zedong wrote his monumental work “On Protracted War” in the caves of northern Shaanxi. He criticized the “rapid victory” and “conquered nation” theories as fallacies, and like a shining light in the endless night, he brought 400 million Chinese to ultimate victory against the Japanese imperialist aggressors. Eighty years later, today’s China is incomparable to the China of the past. In the face of the “Trump offensive,” the descendants of the Yellow Emperor need not blame or belittle themselves, and we should especially not have extravagant hopes that “admitting fear” lets us beg for peace and pity. Of course, we should not be arrogant and conceited. China’s development has entered the “intensive cultivation period.” We are in the midst of transitioning from our past emphasis on “quantity” type growth to the high-quality development stage of “equally emphasizing quantity and quality.” As long as we persist in deepening reform and opening up to the outside world, especially via implementing policy programs to the fullest in some important areas, none of the U.S.’ attempts at containment will be able to interrupt China’s development. As long as China steadily moves forward in accordance with the pace of its own reform and development, and Chinese people become even more resolutely determined, confident, and united in willpower, they will be able to fight off the U.S.’ “bullying,” and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. [Chinese]
An earlier propaganda directive from June outlined rules for coverage of trade conflicts with the U.S.
Translation by Lisbeth.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.