Press Review: People’s Livelihood, Past Wrongs, Traitors

First 83 Chinese citizens leaving Libya, one of Huanqiu's alternating topical photos on it's special coverage on Libya.

First 83 Chinese citizens leaving Libya, one of Huanqiu's alternating topical photos on it's special coverage on Libya of Monday.

While Enorth (Tianjin)  and many other local websites focus on the people’s livelihood (民生, mínshēng) most recently, such as comments by chief state councillor Wen Jiabao on housing costs, during a chat with Chinese netizens last weekend), Huanqiu Shibao keeps Libya in its headlines, even if only with rather short news articles behind them. Another focus remain the many happy returns of Chinese citizens, from Arab and Northern African turmoil, into the comfort and stability of their motherland.

Under the regular news collection of “Overseas sees China” (海外看中国), right under a photo showing Japanese war crimes in China, Japanese media (more specifically: Diamond or 钻石) are or is quoted as saying that Japan must have the courage to acknowledge the wrongs of the past. As quoted by Huanqiu, Diamond opens its article with a reference to the gap between Tokyo and Beijing that hadn’t been easy to close, since the eruption of the Senkaku dispute of last year. Diamond quotes former Japanese House of Representatives Speaker Yohei Kono as saying that “to acknowledge wrongs as wrongs” was very important, and no “self-abusive” behavior, as thought by some people. The other side’s (China’s) trust could only be won by acknowledging the wrongs. Only after that, there wouldn’t be psychological barriers during talks anymore. That Japan feared China today, had much to do with the low esteem in which it had held its adversaries in the past (对中国如此恐惧,是日本以往太小瞧自己对手的证明).

In an older Huanqiu article, of December last year, but available within a context menu on the Yohei Kono newsarticle, foreign media (specifically: the Irish Times) are quoted with descriptions of how Japan nervously watches China stretching its muscles (外媒:日本正紧张注视中国伸展肌肉). As is not unusual in Chinese reviews of foreign press, Huanqiu’s account of the original Irish Times article is rather selective.

US ambassador John Huntsman‘s visit to Wangfujing was Huanqiu’s topic on Friday – “who does believe that it was a coincidence”, asks the headline. Adam Cathcart collected some Huanqiu Shibao readers’ comments:

Now China is so well developed! Why are there still people who become hanjian (traitors)? [The term “traitor” apparently targets the activists who had called for a Jasmine walk there.]

You Chinese who have a pulse, stand up to strike down American imperialism!

One shouldn’t however take such responses as flatly indicative for all of the readers’ opinions, not even when it is a rather nationalistic paper such as Huanqiu Shibao. Everything jasmine-related has apparently become an object of heavy censorship. Earlier this month, I have seen several readers’ comments on Huanqiu Shibao which were soon deleted.

Back to the people’s livelihood, Wen Jiabao promised construction of 36 million guarantee-flats (保障房) over the next five years, aka 保障性住房 (affordable housing).


Sino-Japanese SNAFU in Hanoi: “Full Responsibility”, October 30, 2010


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