Beijing Starts New Wave of Media Suppression

December 7, 2008 2:01 am Last Updated: December 7, 2008 2:02 am

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Propaganda Department is taking action to suppress the media in order to deal with the economic downturn and expected political crisis. The associate editor of Southern China Metropolitan was removed from her position and other web media will be shut down. Other media’s column editors will be reorganized.

According to Boxun News on December 4, an insider disclosed that the associate editor of Southern China Metropolitan Jiang Yiping, was removed from her current position and will be managing the Southern China Rural News. President of the Southern China Media Research Institute Yang Xingfeng, will temporarily take Jiang’s position.

Political, Economic and Public Safety Bottleneck Foreseen

A reporter at Boxun received information on December 2 that the Propaganda Department just finished a meeting on a new wave of media suppression. In the meeting, the Politburo stated Beijing had realized 2009 will be a bottleneck for China’s economy, politics, and public safety. The Politburo quoted intelligence from Homeland Security and General Staff Department that Beijing faces critical challenges and crisis in 2009 and will allot special funds to the Department of Propaganda and Homeland Security to handle the crisis. The Department of Propaganda will start by striking major media.

The targeted media on the Propaganda Department’s blacklist include six major liberal newspapers and magazines such as the Southern China Press Group, Nanfeng Chuang, China News Report, and The Beijing News, including all news websites except Sina.com.

Also on the list are 15 active media personnel including Jiang from the Southern China Metropolitan. Jiang is the most well-known editor in China and was in charge of the Southern China Metropolitan’s commentary edition. The Propaganda department issued a secret order recently to remove Jiang. This is the second time Beijing hit the most outspoken Southern China Press Group after it removed associate editor Chang Ping of the Southern Metropolis Weekly earlier this year.

It was said this wave of suppression focuses mainly the Internet media and Sohu.com is one of the major targets. The Propaganda Department has ordered canceling two popular political columns of Sohu.com. Hong Kong based ifeng.com had one of its columns (Narrative History) canceled. NetEase and Yahoo were also forced to make changes.

According to a section chief with last name Chen in the Propaganda Department, this movement is meant to make examples out of these media. Except for Sina.com, there will be rearrangements of columns and editors of all web media.