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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid