China: Stranglehold on information about the Corona virus

The CCP’s Guidelines for Coronavirus Information Control

When the novel coronavirus began to spread in China in December 2019, instead of taking proper measures to contain the virus and protect the people, each province quickly issued guidelines for control of the spread of information to best serve the interest of the Chinese Communist Party.

In Shandong Province, the provincial officials issued three orders:

First, all government employees and employees of state-owned enterprises, Party members, lawyers, and residential committee staff may not comment on, share, or leak any virus information that is not approved by the government.

Second, all the above-mentioned personnel must repost official information prepared by the government on social media to help maintain “social stability” and control public opinion.

They own MSM.

Remember when that woman yelled ‘Stop the killing”, refering to the organ harvesting at a Bush/Hu Jintao event? The media interviewed her but told her not to mention the organ harvesting, but she did, and they put it on delayed broadcast and cut every syllable of it out of what got broadcast. The media has covered for China for decades. They loved Jiang Zemin, the president who started the persecution of Falun Gong and set up all those labor camps that made junk to export. The media was mum on that too.

The stranglehold that China still has on our media here is almost as bad as the censorship there in China.

The mainstream financial media is just as bad.

From Hong Kong based China Media Project


CMP reported yesterday on the firestorm that ensued online in China as news circulated that Wuhan’s top official, Wang Zhonglin (王忠林), said during an internal meeting that the city needed to “carry out gratitude education among the citizens of the whole city” so that they thank Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China for the response to the coronavirus epidemic.

Internal directives from press control officials now suggest this has been a full-blown public opinion crisis for the Party, and that the wound was self-inflicted. Media have been ordered not to share the original article, publish commentaries, or otherwise address the issue at all. The report on Wang’s remarks by Wuhan’s official Changjiang Daily has been withdrawn, but remains available online from certain sources.

A March 7 WeChat post on Wang Zhonglin’s “gratitude education” remarks has now been removed.
Below is CMP’s translation of an announcement for an internal propaganda meeting held last night, with required attendance from key central Party media and local propaganda offices. The announcement clearly says that what it now calls the “’gratitude education’ incident” invited “raging public opinion,” and that it was comparable as a “public opinion incident” to the uproar that followed the death of Dr. Li Wenliang.

The coronavirus epidemic has been a serious test of the Chinese Communist Party’s capacity to “guide public opinion,” a phrase it uses to describe the work of controlling and redirecting information in order to maintain political stability and the Party’s legitimacy in the eyes of the public. Efforts by an often rigid and unresponsive Party-state media system to turn the tide of criticism away from the government have often backfired, encouraging anger and resentment with the leadership’s apparent interest in managing appearances over acknowledging and grappling with problems.

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One of the most obvious cases in point came last Friday as footage emerged online and on social media of residents in Wuhan shouting from their high-rise apartments during an inspection visit by vice-premier Sun Chunlan: “Fake! Fake! Everything is fake!” It was possibly this embarrassing episode that prompted Wang Zhonglin, who was appointed in February to replace Ma Guoqiang (马国强) as Wuhan’s Party secretary in a leadership shake-up, to suggest the necessity of a campaign of “gratitude education.”

China Digital Times reports:


On Friday, China reported only a single new COVID-19 infection outside the outbreak’s epicenter of Wuhan, which saw 74 new cases, with the additional exception of 24 cases found in people returning from abroad. The same day, however, a Beijing official told reporters that disease control in the city is in “its most challenging period.” The Wall Street Journal’s Stu Woo reported on Tuesday on the capital’s notable exception to the lowering emergency response levels widely seen elsewhere.

Make all-out efforts to prevent the virus from spreading within the capital, the Chinese leader said in a speech last week. “The security and stability of the capital city is directly related to the overall work of the party and the country,” he said.

[…] The low infection rate allowed Beijing to impose relatively few restrictions on people’s movements within the city until recently, while other regions locked down residents. On social media, some citizens complained Beijingers had freedoms unavailable to the rest of the country.

[…] On Sunday, the Ministry of Transport banned all taxis and ride-hailing services in Beijing from exiting the capital, and those from elsewhere from entering the city—after intercity buses had already been banned from the city in late January. On Friday, Beijing issued its latest epidemic-control guideline in which it emphasized that anyone coming into the city from elsewhere in China must be quarantined at home for 14 days and called on residential districts to strengthen supervision. Those returning from countries where the coronavirus outbreak is severe must also be quarantined for 14 days. It also said university students shouldn’t return to school.

In the past two weeks, authorities have gone door to door in many neighborhoods to give entry-exit passes to residents for new checkpoints. In some neighborhoods, local officials have slapped large stickers across both the door and frame of entrances. If authorities later find a sticker broken, they can tell that people have been entering or leaving a residence. [Source]

China Daily reported on Friday that around 827,000 returnees to the capital are currently in quarantine. Foreign Policy’s James Palmer commented on the exceptional steps in place to defend Beijing in his weekly China Brief newsletter: “For Chinese officials, protecting the party leadership from infection is clearly the highest priority. Deaths in Beijing appear to matter more than deaths elsewhere, so the response there is a telling vision of what the government really believes about the virus.”

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The capital’s exceptional status was also highlighted last week with the indefinite postponement of this year’s national “Two Sessions,” the annual gatherings of the legislative National People’s Congress and the advisory Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. As the meetings largely formalize a predetermined Party agenda, practical disruption from the delay will be limited, but it remains unprecedented, and striking in light of the energy usually expended to ensure the occasion is seen to remain firmly on track. Speculation about such an extraordinary step had been all but confirmed the previous week with official reports that it had been proposed. State media prepared the ground with emphatic explanations of its prudence.
More at:

China Launches Coronavirus Propaganda Drive To Boost International Image

Wang Zhonglin, secretary of the Wuhan Municipal Party Committee of the Communist Party of China calls on his city, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus, to carry out gratitude education to thank the ruling party for its response to the outbreak, March 6, 2020.
Wang Zhonglin, secretary of the Wuhan Municipal Party Committee of the Communist Party of China calls on his city, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus, to carry out gratitude education to thank the ruling party for its response to the outbreak, March 6, 2020.
Changjiang Daily Weibo page
The ruling Chinese Communist Party has launched an overseas propaganda offensive questioning whether the coronavirus originated in the country, while backpedaling at home on comments by a high-ranking official calling for “gratitude” from the inhabitants of virus-hit Wuhan.

A diplomatic and media campaign launched a week ago has two main aims: to play down the cover-up of the emerging coronavirus outbreak by party chiefs in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and to push forward the narrative that the virus may not have originated in China at all, according to an expose published by the Catholic French language newspaper La Croix.

Chinese ambassadors around the world have been ordered to publicly question the idea that the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, the paper said.

In South Africa, Ambassador Lin Songtian was among the first to obey the propaganda directive coming from his government in Beijing, tweeting obediently on Saturday: “Studies by scientists from countries like the United States, Europe and Japan show that the source of #COVID19 is still inconclusive. Based on the results of global scientists, WHO said the source is still uncertain and stigmatization should be avoided.”

Lin sent the tweet on the same day as he held a news conference during which he told journalists that Beijing doesn’t accept the theory that COVID-19 was “made in China.”


h/t Lily