False China Reports of Flying Chinese Flag Outside White House

September 10, 2009 7:48 am Last Updated: September 10, 2009 7:51 am

The China Daily reported that the Fujian Association was granted permission to raise the national flag of the People’s Republic of China on the South Lawn of the White House at 10 a.m. on Sept. 20 to honor the founding of the regime. This news has been widely cited by mainland Chinese media.

But the White House dismissed the reports from China as inaccurate.

Fabrication has become a common practice among Chinese media, according to some overseas analysts. They also point out that China’s state media propaganda has had a negative psychological effect on the Chinese people. The combination of these two factors has thus led to the widespread practice of reporting false news in mainland China.

French commentator Zhang Lun, as reported by Radio Free Asia, remarked, “Because of the official media’s heavy propaganda in reporting on China as a great rising power these years, as well as the Chinese people’s collective mental hurdle due to humiliation [felt] over the past decades, they hope their country will play a pivotal role and be a shining star. I think this is a kind of abnormal psychology.”

Zhang noted that foreign flags are only flown on White House grounds or on Pennsylvania Avenue during state or official visits by a countries’ leaders. Raising the Chinese flag for a Chinese celebration is simply not possible.

“Perhaps some people did it deliberately (when they know it is a fake news); perhaps some are just not clear. Though the Chinese reporters have improved their skills, they still generally have limited understanding of protocol in Western societies,” Zhang continued.

“Any reporter or ordinary person with an understanding of international societal conventions would not believe (this news).” Zhang added, “It has become a joke.

“Some Chinese just want to make up news as such, and then some people are willing to believe it. This is precisely because they (Chinese people) want more international recognition. They have such an expectation, yet they have very limited knowledge. So reporters are willing to concoct such news, to satisfy one's self respect with foreign recognition.”

Dr. Wang Juntao of Columbia University commented, “The Chinese Communist Party knows that creating such an incident at a time like this will [cause them to] lose face. It is better for the high level officials to make less trouble and do fewer shameful things. They have this mental tendency. Because they hope something will happen, once they hear a rumor, or just some ambiguous statements, they jump to conclusions.”

ChinaNews, another official Chinese media, reported on Sept. 7 that it was pressure from conservatives that prompted the White House to clarify the issue on Sept. 4. They reported that the initial statement was inaccurate because the flag-raising will not take place on the White House lawn, but rather on the Ellipse across the street from the presidential residence.

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