Monday, January 24, 2011

ChiCom Annual Propaganda Meeting

Chen Kuiyuan -- Li Changchun -- Liu Yunshan
Chinese Propaganda Ministers

(Beijing, China) The annual meeting of China's propaganda ministers was held earlier this month and tersely reported by Xinhua News Agency. Three leaders attended --- Communist Politburo Member Li Changchun, Propaganda Department Minister Liu Yunshan and Dean of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Chen Kuiyuan.

Notably, the attendance of Chen Kuiyuan was unusual since he is not a regular participant in formal propaganda proceedings.
Chen Kuiyuan is strongly associated with China’s hardline left, and his presence in the official news photo from Xinhua is for media insiders in China a tangible sign — a flesh-and-blood cautionary note about the need for media to fall into line in 2011.

It was this same Chen Kuiyuan who wrote an influential essay in the People’s Daily in August 2004 arguing that the greatest legacy left by Deng Xiaoping (邓小平), the architect of China’s opening and reform policy, was not reform itself but the so-called “Four Basic Principles, or si xiang jiben yuanze (四项基本原则). A favored political buzzword of China’s conservative left, the Four Basic Principles — sometimes referred to as the “Four Cardinal Principles” — are as follows:
1. We must cleave to the road of socialism

2. We must uphold the dictatorship of the proletariat

3. We must uphold the leadership of the Communist Party

4. We must uphold Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought
The prominent presence of Chen Kuiyuan lends additional credence to the suggestion that the recent national meeting of top propaganda ministers was meant to send a stronger signal to Chinese news media and local Party-governments that they must adhere strictly to “propaganda discipline” (宣传纪律), avoiding coverage of sensitive stories and issues.
So, instead of having a freer press in China, a strong signal has been sent to the media that the government is going to crack down harder.

There's more at the link, including the unofficial specifics of the Central Propaganda Department's Ten-Points Bulletin. It's lengthy but can be rendered down to two words - "Shut up."

Companion post at TJR.

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