In deafening silence over protestors holding white paper, China’s state media kept busy posting unfavorable American stories
This newsletter has been watching China’s party-run state media, what it picks, translates or re-prints from everyday news stories in America’s free media. It was kind of useful to know, especially how skillful China’s propagandists are in publicizing critical views of Americans about their own country to aid the Communist Party agenda.
As readers have seen, China’s media is always eager to broadcast any protests or discontents or disagreements in the United States. Yet, when the protests erupted like a prairie fire in China a few days ago, and with courageous shouts such as “Xi Jinping, step down!,” the state media stayed in deafening and stone-cold silence. With that, it showed the world once again its true nature: a tool of the Party.
The blank white paper held high by protesters from Shanghai to Beijing, from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, however, spoke volume while not saying anything. On it were all the words the protestors wanted to say but could not. It was so powerful a denunciation of the country’s censorship, yet it was also so sad. In this 21st century China, spoken or written words can still lead to arrest or jail just as in ancient China where the term 文字狱 “word jail” or “literary prison” came from. White may not be like any other color, some already see the protests as the newest color revolution, “White Paper Revolution.”
While the world was watching China’s most dramatic event since Tiananmen, its official media did not slacken one bit in their combing of the American media for useful stories. Let’s take another look at what stories China’s Party journalists have been busy working with in the last few days. After that, I am sure those of you who have read this newsletter over the last three months won’t probably need to read more everyday American news stories that China’s media repeats.
On Nov. 26, Eurasia Review published a long op-ed with this title, “The US Chip Blockade Against China Is Creating Unplanned Consequences.” It analyzed the U.S. as still dominating the world’s semiconductor value chains, criticized the industrial policy, and concluded that, with government intervention, the U.S. has lost confidence in the power of the markets. Global Times followed up on Nov. 27 with its own piece titled “American media: Chip blockade against China reveals a U.S. that lost confidence,” an abridged translation of the Eurasia original.
On Nov. 27, The Hill posted a story titled “Fauci: Americans shouldn’t feel we’re completely ‘done’ with COVID.” It was based on an interview Fauci had given Face the Nation that day. When asked about the pandemic, Fauci said it was much, much better than before. With still 350 to 400 deaths a day, he continued, “It is not at a level low enough where we could feel we are done with it completely.” Next day, People’s Daily Overseas Edition ran a translation of the Hill story, with a similar title, “Fauci: Americans should not feel ‘the pandemic is over.’”
Also on Nov. 27th, CNN ran a story titled “What travel warnings do other nations give their citizens about US violence?” It listed Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Israel, France, Germany, Mexico, Japan and New Zealand and the warnings they issued to their citizens traveling to the U.S. For instance, the U.K told its citizens that "incidents of mass shooting can occur,” etc. On Nov. 29, China News carried a piece titled “Overseas Review: Multiple countries issue travel warnings. U.S. viewed as ‘unsafe’ by allies.” It included part of the CNN story and its own comments on gun violence and racism in the United States.
On Nov. 28, CNBC ran a piece titled “Flu hospitalizations increase nearly 30% as U.S. enters holiday season.” It said more than 11,200 people were hospitalized with the flu during the week ending Nov. 19, compared to about 8,700 the week prior, according to the Health and Human Services Department. Next day, People’s Daily Overseas Edition posted its translation titled “U.S. saw flu hospitalizations rise near 30%. Flu patients this season already number over 6.2 million.”
On Nov. 29, AP had a story titled “Study: U.S. gun death rates hit highest levels in decades.” It was about the latest study published that day by JAMA Network Open titled “Trends and Disparities in Firearm Fatalities in the United States, 1990-2021.” According to AP and the report, there were more than 1.1 million gun deaths in the U.S. over 32 years, and last year, gun deaths reached 47,000, the most in at least 40 years. Next day, on Nov. 30, China Daily carried a piece titled “Perspective: How serious U.S. gun violence is? New study: Over 1.1 million gun deaths in last 32 years.” It was a translation of part of the AP story as well as part of a CNN story on the same topic.
Well, with that, thank you for reading, and so long.
You're stopping already?