The following is a translation of an article published by People’s Daily (online) on Friday. Quotes from the diplomats, plus their names, are re-translated from Chinese-language quotes within the People’s-Daily article, and this may or may not reflect what they originally said. — JR
Main Link: People’s Daily online, May 25, 2012, 05:46
Sincere Openness wins Whole-Hearted Praise — Open House at CCP Propaganda Department
– by Du Rong
本报记者 杜 榕
On May 24, the Central Propaganda Department at W Changan Road opened its doors and welcomed some special guests. At an open-house activity with the theme “Entering CCP Central Propaganda Department”, nearly sixty high-level diplomats stationed in China came in here for the first time, to have a look around, to have discussions and exchanges, and to understand the CCP’s work at theoretical learning, news dissemination, and at the building of ideological virtue.
Just in from their cars, some envoys merrily watched the buildings belonging to the Central Propaganda Department, and what made them even more expectant were the following “close contacts”. How does this department work? How does their work materialize in which fields? What are the qualities of the staff working here? … This was of interest to all diplomatic envoys, but they also had a common expectation that “the Central Propaganda Department would, with a sincere, open attitude have exchanges with them, to get a better understanding of the CCP in these exchanges, and a better understanding of the relevant work in China”.
Arranging and scripting “Theoretical Hot Topics Face-to-Face”, coordinating major news disseminating activities, organizing and implementing “work at the grassroot level, changing the ways of doing things, and changing styles” activities, organizing and implementing activities to build spiritual civilization, organizing and coordinating large-scale art and literature activities, promoting cultural reform … In the central propaganda building, a variety of exhibits was on display and attracted many diplomats’ attention, and some fell over backwards (迫不及待) to take notes while listening and talking. Full of interest, they heard detailed accounts from comrades in the relevant departments, conscientiously dipped into theoretical writings by the Central Propaganda Department, some were interested in the recording of ongoing discussions, and some stopped at the newspaper and periodical showroom.
New Zealand’s ambassador Carl Worker, after watching the exhibition and listening to the introductions, told this reporter that the Central Propaganda Department is a very important department at the CCP, and what’s more, it is in charge of the important work of news dissemination, theory learning, the building of ideological virtue, and “coming here, I hope to understand the institutions at the Central Propaganda Department, the contents of work, how the work is done, so that we better understand the CCP and have better exchanges and interaction”.
At the Theory Office, to give the diplomats a deeper and intuitive impression, producers of the Theoretical Hot Topics Face-to-Face television special reports explained how they centered their programs around hot and difficult issues that concerned society. The books produced during the past few years, television recordings, were there not just to be read by the diplomats, but also to take them home for closer studies. Vietnam’s Minister Counsellor Hoang Ngoc Vinh took more than ten books right away, saying that “in Vietnam, we have similar departments. These books and theories are significant and worth to learn from”.
“May I ask who Lei Feng is”, Ethiopian deputy ambassador Ababi Demissie Sidelel asked the person in charge, after having listened to an introduction at the education department and feeling a bit confused. […] After listening to the detailed and correct answer, the deputy ambassador’s doubts had been cleared, and he noddingly said: “Every country needs this kind of heroic person; this work is really important!”
“请问雷锋是什么人？”埃塞俄比亚驻华副大使阿巴比·德米思在宣传教育局听完介绍后感到有些困惑，向该局负责人提出了这个问题。 [ “雷锋是中国家喻户晓的全心全意为人民服务的楷模，他作为一名普通的中国人民解放军战士，在短暂的一生中助人无数，他的精神也代表着中国人的精神，因此我们广泛组织向雷锋同志学习的活动，希望他的精神能够代代传承。”] 详实准确的回答解开了副大使的疑惑，他频频点头说：“每个国家都需要这样的英雄人物，这项工作确实非常重要！”
After reading at the News Office’s The Party’s Historical Papers and Periodicals and The Party’s Historical Papers and Periodicals at the newspaper and periodical showroom, an ambassador said with emotion: “Thank you very much for today’s activity, this was of great help to our understanding the Chinese media”. Seeing the public-opinion supervision work explanations, an envoy said: “In the past, we thought that food safety issues only existed in some small companies, but from the results of China’s public-opinion supervision we can see that it is a universal issue, one of which the whole world must be vigilant and responsive. China’s public-opinion supervision has played a particularly important role.”
To let the ambassadors truly understand the CCP’s propaganda work wasn’t only about the exhibition, but about the diplomats’ own queries: “Can the CCP make use of the new media to better understand the popular will?”, “Which challenges do you encounter in the fields of ideology and public opinion?”, “How does the Central Propaganda Department increase China’s cultural soft power?” ……. These questions, without exception, got a very good answer and explanation. Bangla Desh’s embassy’s Minister Counsellor 阿卜杜尔·莫塔拉布·沙克尔 said: “This visit to the Central Propaganda Department was impressive. The department does very good work in the fields of ideology and culture, news dissemination, theoretical research, etc.. It has also brought along a lot of convenience and service for the public, and displays a ruling party’s democratic, open, and progressive image. We are touched, and also very inspired, and hope that similar activities will follow.”
Sincere communication, heart-to-heart talks, and frank encounters during this open-house activity, an open, transparent, harmonious and democratic Chinese Communist Party won the diplomats’ whole-hearted praise.
» An Inconvenient Truth, Febr 28, 2012
» 怎么看房价过高 (How to view excessively high house prices), 理论热点面对面 (Theoretical Hot Topics Face-to-Face), television program