In Coordinated Effort, Chinese-Language Newspapers Condemn Hong Kong Protests

By Lu Chen, Epoch Times
October 5, 2014 9:44 pm Last Updated: October 14, 2014 2:52 pm

On Oct. 2 Chinese-language newspapers around the world published the same article condemning the protests for democracy in Hong Kong. A democracy activist said the publication “means nothing.”

On Sept. 28 a week of student protests calling for universal suffrage in Hong Kong swelled dramatically in size, as the Occupy Central movement joined the students and suddenly tens of thousands of ordinary citizens choked the streets. Newspapers in democratic nations around the world applauded the demonstrators, and called for restraint by Hong Kong authorities and democracy for Hong Kong’s citizens.

A few days later 142 Chinese-language newspapers responded to the demonstrations by publishing an article titled “Declaration of Defending Hong Kong.” It condemned the Hong Kong civil-disobedience movement Occupy Central as “illegal” and called Hong Kong a “city in upheaval.” The organizers of Occupy Central were said to be the “vanguard of American and British forces” that “destabilize the society, incite riots, and divide the nation.”

The list of complaints the article makes about the democracy movement would be at home in the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily. 

This is not accidental, according to Dr. Yang Jianli, a veteran of the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy movement and the founder here in the United States of Initiatives for China, which is devoted to bringing a “peaceful transition to democratic governance in China.” 

“We have to first understand how these newspapers come into being,” Yang said. “These newspapers come into being as part of a big propaganda initiative by the Chinese government. The government put in tremendous resources to project its soft power to the world. In other words, these newspapers carry out tasks to project a good image for the Chinese government.”

A 2001 article in the journal China Brief, “How China’s Government Is Attempting to Control Chinese Media in the United States,” lays out in detail how the Chinese regime has attempted to directly control Chinese-language media outside China through purchase, or used economic power to gain influence over their editorial content, or bought advertising to gain influence, or infiltrated the regime’s own journalists into the staff of independent newspapers. 

“The statement these papers published about Occupy Central means nothing. Whatever these papers say means nothing,” Yang said. They are the government’s voice. And so that surprises no one.

The criticism of Occupy Central by the 142 Chinese-language newspapers has served to identify those serving the regime to the Chinese people. “None of the media outlets around the world signed on to their statement,” Yang said. “Only those newspapers that are part of the regime’s propaganda initiative signed.” 

“These newspapers don’t represent overseas Chinese,” Yang said. “Look at what overseas Chinese have been doing to support Hong Kong. They have collected over 200,000 signatures on a petition pressing the White House to support the Hong Kong movement.” (Yang’s organization Initiatives for China took the lead in organizing the petition effort.)

Additional reporting by Stephen Gregory

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Below is the list of newspapers that published the statement condemning Occupy Central (English-language names to come).

泰国 《 泰华网综合资讯 》, 日本《中日新报》,美国《美中信使报》,澳大利亚华厦传媒集团,委内瑞拉《委国侨报》,美国《芝加哥华语论坛》,美国《中美邮报》,美国纽约商务传媒集 团,美国世界华文出版社,日本《中文导报》,日本《半月文摘》,日本《中国悠悠》杂志,加拿大《环球华报》,加拿大《星星周刊》,美国《新闻周刊》,美国 美南电视报业集团,菲律宾《国际日报》,香港《中国网视台》,肯尼亚《中非经贸报》,意大利《欧洲华人报》,意大利欧联传媒集团,意大利欧联通讯社,意大 利《欧联时报》,意大利《欧联网》,美国《美新侨报》,美国《南美新闻网》,美国《拉斯维加斯时报》,匈牙利《联合报》,美国《美华商报》,美国《大底特 律时报》,阿根延《新大陆周刊》,乌克兰《乌克兰华商报》,《新西兰联合报》,加拿大《健康时报》,澳大利亚《新市场报》,加拿大《枫华之声》,加拿大 《健康报》,意大利《欧洲商旅报》,芝加哥《神洲时报》,瑞典《北欧时报》,印尼《国际日报》,波兰《环球周报》,毛里求斯《华声报》,澳大利亚《大华时 报》,韩国《新华报》,缅甸《缅华网》,《英国侨报》,《澳洲日报》,美国北卡州《华星报》 ,委内瑞拉《南美新知》杂志社,《达拉斯新闻》,新西兰中华新闻通讯社,新西兰《信报》,俄罗斯《龙报》,俄罗斯《捷通日报》,泰国《泰亚新闻网》,葡萄 牙《葡华报》,柬埔寨《柬华日报》,美国纽约海外电视台,中欧《华商报》,捷克《华商报》,意大利欧洲华人电视传媒集团,希腊《中希时报》,欧洲《新侨 网》、西非《华声报》,瑞典《北欧华人报》,《坦桑尼亚华人论坛》,德国《欧洲新报》,南非《华商报》,英国《英中时报》,肯尼亚《华声报》,非洲《环球 邮报》,委内瑞拉《南美新侨报》,委内瑞拉《委华报》,秘鲁《新视野》,巴西《南美侨报》,新西兰《TV33 华人电视台》,新西兰《中文先驱报》,《澳大利亚时报》,全澳华语广播电台,澳大利亚《新市场报》,澳大利亚《澳洲日报》,澳大利亚《墨尔本日报》,澳大 利亚大洋传媒集团,加拿大《多伦多网上电视》,加拿大《中文电视台节目》,加拿大《加华新闻》,加拿大《加中时报》,加拿大新时代传媒集团,美国《美中报 导》,美国《密城时报》,美国《华兴报》,美国《美洲商报》,美国《拉斯韦加斯新闻报》,美国《亚省时报》,美国《华商报》,美国《彼岸》杂志,美国《中 外论坛》杂志,美国《华盛顿华文邮报》,美国《华盛顿观察》,《澳门商报》,《澳门月刊》,菲律宾《联合日报》,美国《科州华报》,加拿大《今日中国文汇 报》,《南美新知》杂志社,《南美新知》新闻网,《华盛顿新闻报》,澳大利亚《澳华国际传媒》,新西兰《中国城网》,美国《密城时报》,菲律宾《华商纵 横》,加拿大《加中时报》,柬埔寨《柬华日报》,南非《华侨新闻报》,加拿大《七天新闻》,美国《红杉林杂志》,加拿大中国国际教育电视台,加拿大《华侨 報》,加拿大《大华商报》,瑞典《欧华天下杂志社》,阿联酋《中东侨报》,加拿大《世界华人周刊》,美国《国际日报》,澳门《中葡经贸导报》,《西班牙联 合报 》,泰国《东盟商界》杂志社,埃及《中国周报》,匈牙利《布达佩斯时报》,法国《侨报》,爱尔兰《新岛传媒集团 》,《新岛周报》,德囯《欧洲新侨网》,马来西亚《亚洲时报》,尼日利亚《西非统一商报》,《西非华人在线》南非《华侨新闻报》,意大利《世界中国》杂 志,荷兰《联合时报》,英国《华商报》。