News / Asia

    Chinese Media Puts Shine on Hu's US Visit

    Chinese newspaper coverage of President Hu Jintao's state visit to the White House, Beijing, 20 Jan 2011.
    Chinese newspaper coverage of President Hu Jintao's state visit to the White House, Beijing, 20 Jan 2011.

    News of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the White House is splashed across major newspapers in China. But with media notoriously censored, VOA wondered what exactly the Chinese press is saying about the visit. To find out, VOA's Kate Woodsome talked with Jeremy Goldkorn, the Beijing-based editor of danwei.org, a website that keeps track of Chinese media, advertising, and urban life.

    Listen to the full interview:

    What are the headlines in China about the Hu Jintao visit?

    "It’s very much boiler plate. Chinese newspaper and newspaper organizations are generally instructed to just use the approved copy from Xinhua News Agency, which is the state news agency, so there’s not a big range of types of coverage. Quite a lot of it has focused on the so-called image advertisements that the government has been running on CNN and on the screens at Times Square in New York, talking about the campaign to improve China’s image in America. Like, the front page of the Beijing News had a massive picture of Time Square showing screens displaying this advertisement. But very much boiler plate; the kinds of things that Hu Jintao said in his speeches were repeated unquestioningly in the media."

    I was interested to see that Xinhua did mention human rights and the fact that Hu Jintao talked about human rights.

    "They did. I don’t know how much of that was actually in the Chinese coverage, but there was certainly a mention of it. But that’s not really a new thing. He didn’t say anything substantially different from what other Chinese officials have said in the past."

    Would you say that what appears in the English-language news is different from what appears in the Chinese-language news?

    "Yes, always. If you compare, for example, the Chinese home page of Xinhua with the English homepage of Xinhua, you’ll find every day a completely different collection of stories."

    What have the bloggers been talking about online?

    "It hasn’t been a topic of really heated discussion. When it comes to America, there’s always a certain percentage of the Chinese Internet population that is inclined to be nationalist and to be very suspicious of America. And you certainly saw people commenting on, particularly after the stealth jet photos were spread around the Internet, you had a lot of people saying, ‘Oh good, now he’s [Hu Jintao is] going to America. Yes, we’re strong. It’s good. China should be strong. We shouldn’t take any nonsense from America.’ This kind of sentiment is fairly common.

    But you also see another group of people who look at the coverage in the U.S. of the discussion of the decline of the United States and China’s rise, China becoming a super power. There’s a significant group of people on the Internet who are very doubtful of that and who don’t see China becoming an equal to the United States any time soon."

    Next Media Animation, the Taiwan animators who take a satirical approach to news reporting, did an animated version of this trip. What did they have to say?

    "Their animation portrayed Hu as being very aggressive and going to America to basically tell Obama what’s what, deal with his banker. That was their approach to it. But it should be noted that their videos are circulated on YouTube, which is blocked in China. So it’s not something that was circulated widely within China itself."

    It was pretty funny. They had Hu Jintao taking measurements in the White House as if he was going to move in.

    "That’s right. It’s sort of a continuation of a previous animation they did in which there was a rap battle between Hu Jintao and Obama discussing many of the bigger Sino-American problems. It’s part of kind of a tradition they’re developing."

    Even though this is a satirical approach to the news events, is this a popular opinion of the dynamic between China and the U.S.?

    "There’s no question that a lot of people in China feel that China has now become sufficiently strong that it no longer should be in a position of having to listen to lectures given by the rest of the world. That it’s time for China to reclaim its rightful place as a major power and everything that entails. That certainly is a very common sentiment in China. But one also encounters many, many people who are not quite as impressed by China’s rise as the kind of commentary you see in the United States. A lot of Chinese people are very doubtful about how powerful China really is, and how great a nation it can become.

    So, you do see very clearly two different ways of looking at it. On the one hand, you see people are very happy that China has become a real player on the world stage and would like China to be more powerful and more aggressive. And you have another group of people who have real doubts about how real this is."

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells California Republican Convention delegates the campaign will be 'a battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of the June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora