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  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 6:24pm
Xi Jinping
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POLITICS

Xi Jinping rallies party for propaganda war on internet

President's battle cry against 'rumour-mongers' in speech last month is revealed, with call for a 'strong army to seize ground of new media'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 September, 2013, 8:33am
 

President Xi Jinping has issued a call to arms against the country's unruly internet, ordering the Communist Party's propaganda machine to build "a strong army" to "seize the ground of new media".

Xi's remarks, made during a national meeting of propaganda chiefs in Beijing last month, came just as the central government was stepping up its campaign against internet "rumours" and reining in influential online celebrities who can command millions of followers.

The August 19 speech was reported the next day by the state agency Xinhua, but it is only in recent days that some of Xi's more combative remarks have come to light.

The comments were confirmed by senior media sources who were summoned to internal briefings on the keynote speech in the past week.

"The wording of his speech relayed in internal briefings is far stronger," said a source. "The most impressive [point] is that Xi said the Communist Party should be combative, instead of being passive, and it should wage a war to win over public opinion. Xi also ordered the propaganda apparatus to form a strong internet army to seize the ground of new media," he said.

The speech laid the ground for recent events that shook the new-media world.

On August 20, Beijing police detained several people connected with Beijing Erma Interactive Marketing and Planning, including internet celebrity Qin Huohuo , on suspicion of rumour-mongering.

On August 23, Chinese-American businessman Charles Xue Biqun , better known to his 12 million Sina Weibo followers as Xue Manzi , was detained on suspicion of soliciting prostitutes.

For the past two weeks, state media have rolled out one commentary after another warning "big V" internet celebrities - people whose identities have been verified by social media companies - not to misuse their influence by spreading rumours. Media sources said Xi's August 19 speech ordered officials to "unite all intellectuals". The remark was interpreted as meaning mustering as many intellectuals as possible to back the party's agenda.

"It is a continuation of the style during the Maoist era to set intellectuals apart from the public," one senior state television journalist said. Another media source said Xi also highlighted the ban on the media spreading the "universal values of the West", because there are "no such things as universal values".

Mainland universities have been banned from teaching "universal values", such as press freedom and civil rights, since March.

Xi also called for the revival of an "ideological purification" campaign initiated by late leader Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s by upholding "four cardinal principles", said a website of the publicity department of the party's Central Committee.

The principles call for the upholding of the people's democratic dictatorship, the socialist path, the party leadership and Marxism-Leninism and "Mao Zedong thought".

"It shows the controls will get stricter and the room for media will dwindle further," the second media source said.

 

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L.L.
My excuses, go to translate
President Xi Jinping, Ik heb heel veel respect voor jou, omdat u een President bent, maar dat wilt niet zeggen dat u de macht mag misbruiken. U zegt iets zonder een onderzoek gaan, wat heeft de Media u mis gedaan? Omdat ze vrijheids van meningsuiten doen?
Als een President gedraagt u niet zo, u heeft beters te doen, dan te aanvallen op een klein media jongens.
Wist u dat u volk heel erg corrupt zijn? Hebberig, ze doen alles voor geld, leugens, stelen, oplichterij, zelfs geen medelijden tonen voor de zwakten! U volk is een chaos, ik heb zelf met me eigen ogen gezien, ze zijn allemaal schijnheilig, masker op, een hond voor u... is dat wat u wilt met u LAND als CHINA? Wanneer beseft u dat u miljarden-bende eerst moesten corrigeren in... gedrag, denkwijze, houding, compassie, goede zielen... U hele huishouding-boek moet opnieuw instellen... inplaats van aanvallen MEDIA!!!
U loopt achter de werkelijkheid, we leven in 21-eeuw, we gaan naar Science fiction tijd en loopt u achter Media te aanvallen... ZIELIG!!!
Als ik u was zal ik eerst mijn volk reden, IQ en EQ zijn onder de maat, hoe kunnen jullie tippen met de WESTEN mensen/ Europa/ USA/Canada/Australië enz... Wij zijn hier gemoderniseerd mensen, de Volks hebben een goeie IQ en EQ,... daarom gaan we altijd een stapje voor ... en jullie lopen achter te kopiëren... ZIELIG!
Wordt vervolgt...
HiggsSinglet
This sounded really backwards and stupid to me, they should go ESAD!!!
robdingwall
Please fight to keep it that way!!!!!
newgalileo
Perfectly true! Agreed...

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