Archive for March 28th, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Huanqiu vs. “Rumors’ Republic”: no World outside the Current Framework

Hong Kong media reported on March 22 that from the afternoon to the night of March 20, military helicopters had been in the air over Beijing, and that tanks had been spotted in Beijing’s Fengtai District, Singapore’s United Morning News (Lianhe Zaobao) wrote on Tuesday1).

A Huanqiu Shibao editorial, also on Tuesday, March 27, on the negative effects of rumors, got a mention in Lianhe Zaobao’s report, too. The following is Huanqiu Shibao’s editorial in full.

Main Link:

Stick to Society’s Line of Resistance against Rumors


During the recent number of days, some rumors spread over the internet and beyond, with rarely-seen vigor. Some of them even entangled Chang’an Street and Zhongnanhai which was strange, absurd, and which created confusion within public opinion. Chinese society should be vigilant, concerning these matters, and must not take a laisser-fair attitude towards the dissemination of rumors.


Admittedly, direct official information isn’t always in step with society’s demands, which makes it easier for rumors to emerge. From a communications perspective, the number and strength of rumors depends on a matter’s importance, and takes advantage on the degree to which the matter is “blurred”. The clearer official information is, the more it addresses public concern, the fewer opportunities there are for rumors.


But while some of the recent days’ rumors were caused naturally, some were also amplified in an abnormal way. Besides official efforts against rumors, society, too, should build a reasonable and moral defense line against rumors. However, there are some people who preach the dismantlement of such a defense line and who openly tout2) the “adequacy” of rumors, claiming that “rumors make the truth emerge” or “enforces reform”. Apparently, their intention is to turn rumors into a “new political shaft” to break away from the current system’s control.


Publication of official Chinese information must continuously improve, but this improvement can’t be reached by ways of demolition. When it comes to some major issues, wariness is often very important. The dangers of quick release of information are sometimes greater than those from centrally clarified information. Many factors contribute to these risks, including the possibility of the public misreading temporary information. All these [factors] are real.


When it comes to certain events of major importance, knowledge of the event and the building of a consensus take time. Correct, precise handling of issues is usually at the same time significant for the guidance of Chinese society. At some times, information must be allowed to be released with a bit of delay. This is China’s current national condition, and a refusal to face this is not the reasonable attitude of seeking truth from the facts.


Looking back on these years, official publication of information has always been moving forward, and the growing transparency of the entire Chinese society has been a constant trend. Objectively speaking, this is one of the most complicated fields of Chinese reform. Promotion of transparency continues to grow, it grants relaxation in core fields, and coordination and integration between the two is vital for China’s progress.


The “theories of rumors’ adequacy” ignore all of China’s realities; they are radicalism which tries to be seen as a grassroots [product]. They want to create a world outside the current political framework, in the minds of the public, and to constantly corrupt acknowledgment of the authority within the current system. The concept of “rumors being adequate” is a tool for disintegrating this country’s political framework, and it is a tool which comes at low costs [for those who are operating it].


In reality, there has been no country in human history which made progress thanks to rumors enforcing it. Rumors’ overall effect has been overwhelmingly negative. They have always complicated and confused reality, and corrupted public morals.


The boycott [or resistance against] rumors should be seen as a public service, to be carried out by everyone as a public service. China is in an imperfect development process, but if all the current rumors could be caught in one phrase, it would be that “China’s calamity has reached its utmost point”. These rumors stealthily harm the inner strength of Chinese society, and inserts the virus of bafflement into society’s system of reason.


The removal of these viruses requires stronger rational coding. It requires, on the one hand, dealing with [the rumors] point by point, and systematic and comprehensive reinforcement and upgrading on the other. Many people have accidentally kept the bad company of the viruses and have suffered from it. Faced with the choice between the anti-virus and the virus, the vast majority of us is undoubtedly on the side of the former.


Let us protect China’s progress and unity together. Every one of us has the right to encourage this country, and at the same time, every one of us is a determinant in China’s cohesive power. We live in this country, most clearly understand the need for reform in this country, and understand this country’s specific difficulties most clearly. But sure enough, China must not be a “Rumors’ Republic”.




1) the link is unlikely to last for more than a few weeks:
2) 吹捧 – to praise insincerely, frequently with the goal of (political) earnings on ones mind.

The editorial isn’t signed, but the China Digital Times attributes some of its central message to Huanqiu editor-in-chief Hu Xijin (胡锡进), as of March 25. It was apparently turned into this editorial about two days later, i. e. on Wednesday Tuesday.



» How the Horse broke itself in, March 22, 2012
» Advice to Dissidents, Shanghaiist, March 19, 2012
» Netizens should tolerate Censorship, March 26, 2011


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