Guangdong chief offers deal in Chinese paper censorship row-source

GUANGZHOU, China Tue Jan 8, 2013 1:26pm EST

1 of 3. Demonstrators hold banners, portraits of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong, and Chinese national flags next to policemen outside the headquarters of Southern Weekly newspaper in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, January 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/James Pomfret

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GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - The Communist Party chief of Guangdong province stepped in to mediate a standoff over censorship at a Chinese newspaper on Tuesday, a source said, in a potentially encouraging sign for press freedoms in China.

The source close to the Guangdong Communist Party Committee said Hu Chunhua, a rising political star in China who just took over leadership of Guangdong province last month, had offered a solution to the dispute that led to some staff at the Southern Weekly going on strike.

The drama began late last week when reporters at the liberal paper accused censors of replacing a New Year letter to readers that called for a constitutional government with another piece lauding the party's achievements.

Under Hu's deal, the source said, newspaper workers would end their strike and return to work, the paper would print as normal this week, and most staff would not face punishment. "Guangdong's Hu personally stepped in to resolve this," the source said.

"He gets personal image points by showing that he has guts and the ability to resolve complex situations. In addition, the signal that he projects through this is one of relative openness, it's a signal of a leader who is relatively steady."

The standoff at the Southern Weekly, long seen as a beacon of independent and in-depth reporting in China's highly controlled media landscape, has led to demands for the country's new leadership to grant greater media freedoms.

The apparent concessions by authorities in the dispute could be seen as an indicator of new Communist Party leader Xi Jinping's reformist inclinations.

It wasn't possible to immediately corroborate Hu's involvement in brokering the deal with editorial staff, who may be bound by an agreement not to speak out.

"LENGTHEN LEASH ON PAPER"

Two sources close to Southern Weekly reporters, however, said journalists would be back at work tomorrow and that propaganda authorities had agreed in future to "lengthen their leash" on the paper. The sources said reporters regarded this as a victory for the Southern Weekly newsroom.

The paper's chief editor Huang Can would also be fired, the two sources and the source close to the Guangdong Communist Party Committee said.

Guangdong's propaganda chief Tuo Zhen, a chief protagonist in the standoff, has faced calls to quit by staff at the paper, activists and in an online petition.

The source close to the party committee said Hu had implied that Tuo would eventually be removed, but that he could not go immediately in order to save face.

"Of course he didn't say 'I guarantee it'. There's no need to say it, but he got the meaning across ... The meaning is that replacing him right now would not fly as far as face is concerned, but he cannot not be replaced and so he will be replaced at a more moderate time," he said.

A representative in the newspaper's distribution department told Reuters the paper would be published as normal this Thursday and that editorial staff would be back to work.

Earlier in the day, Chinese police broke up scuffles outside the gates of the paper in Guangzhou between leftist pro-government supporters and activists protesting against the Southern Weekly's press restrictions.

Despite the apparent concessions at the Southern Weekly, China still maintains tight media control as a political lever to contain dissent and preserve its one party rule.

Authorities shut the website of a leading pro-reform magazine last week, apparently because it had run an article calling for political reform and constitutional government. A former Reuters correspondent in China, Chris Buckley, who joined the New York Times last year, was also forced to leave the country after failing to obtain a visa.

(Additional reporting by John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Sui-Lee Wee and Fiona Li in Beijing; Editing by Nick Macfie and Pravin Char)

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Comments (1)
DeanMJackson wrote:
Interestingly, Guangdong province is also the province where the Wukan protests took place, also known as the Siege of Wukan, an “anti-corruption protest” that began in September 2011, and escalated in December 2011 with the expulsion of officials by villagers. Subsequently, Guangdong party chief Wang Yang “allowed” the village of Wukan to hold its own election, which took place in February 2012.

It seems that Chinese Communist strategists in Beijing are using Guangdong province as the “showpiece province” for manufactured disgruntlement with the central government.

Ladies and gentlemen, in China all [fake] demonstrations are first approved by the Communist Party. In fact there is no such thing as “liberal” newspapers in totalitarian Communist China. All press/media are agents of the state, and any “critical” reporting by such “journalists” is first cleared by the Chinese Communist government.
Fake “dissidents”, fake “demonstrations”, liberal “journalists”, etc. are merely the precursors that the Chinese Communist Party created to provide the rationale for the upcoming fake “collapse” of the Chinese Communist government. This disinformation operation (the “collapse” of the government) is a stratagem that falls under the “Long-Range Policy” (LRP), the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with. The last major disinformation operation under the LRP was the fake “collapse” of the USSR in 1991.

For more on the LRP, read KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn’s book, “New Lies for Old” (available at Internet Archive), the only Soviet era defector to still be under protective custody in the West.

In fact, we don’t need Golitsyn to know that Communists never left power in the USSR, because they are STILL in power:

A sample of post USSR Presidents and who they were before the collapse:

Armenia:

Levon Ter-Petrossian – October 16, 1991 – February 3, 1998, Communist.

Robert Kocharyan – February 4, 1998 – April 9, 2008, Communist.

Serzh Azati Sargsyan – April 9, 2008 – Present, Communist.

Azerbaijan:

Ayaz Niyazi oğlu Mütallibov – October 30, 1991 – March 6, 1992, Communist.

Abulfez Elchibey – June 16, 1992 – September 1, 1993, not Communist.

Heydar Alirza oglu Aliyev – June 24, 1993 – October 31, 2003, Communist.

Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev (Son of third President) – October 31, 2003 – Present, Communist.

Belarus:

Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko – July 20, 1994 – Present, Communist.

Kazakhstan:

Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev – April 24, 1990 – Present, Communist.

Kyrgyzstan:

Askar Akayevich Akayev – October 27, 1990 – March 24, 2005, Communist.

Ishenbai Duyshonbiyevich Kadyrbekov – March 24, 2005 – March 25, 2005 (Interim), Communist.

Kurmanbek Saliyevich Bakiyev – March 25, 2005 – April 15, 2010, Communist.

Roza Isakovna Otunbayeva – April 7, 2010 – December 1, 2011 Communist.

Almazbek Sharshenovich Atambayev – December 1, 2011 – Present, Communist.

Russia:

Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin – July 10, 1991 – December 31, 1999 – Communist.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – 31 December 1999 – 7 May 2000 (Acting) and May 7, 2000 – May 7, 2008 – Communist.

Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev – May 7, 2008 – May 7, 2012, during his studies at the University he joined the Communist Party.

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin – May 7, 2012 – Present, Communist.

Tajikistan:

Emomalii Rahmon – November 20, 1992 – Present, Communist.

Ukraine:

Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk, December 5, 1991 – July 19, 1994, joined Ukraine Communist Party in 1958.

Leonid Danylovych Kuchma, July 19, 1994 – January 23, 2005, Communist, 1960.

Viktor Andriyovych Yushchenko, January 23, 2005 – February 25, 2010, Communist, 1980.

Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, February 25, 2010 – Present, Communist, 1980.

Uzbekistan:

Islam Abdug‘aniyevich Karimov – March 24, 1990 – Present, Communist.

If the collapse of the USSR were legitimate the 15 electorates of the former USSR would NEVER have elected for their respective Presidents Soviet era Communist Party Quislings. Such persons would have been immediately (1) arrested in the interest of national security; or (2) shunned by society. Remember, these Quislings belonged to the political party that for 74 years persecuted the 90% of the population that wasn’t Communist.

Imagine it’s 1784 America. The Treaty of Paris (1783) was signed the previous year ending the revolutionary war with Britain. So who do the electorates of the newly independent 13 colonies elect for their respective governors? They elect persons who were Loyalists (American supporters of Great Britain) during the war for independence! Of course, in reality the persecution was so bad for Loyalists in post independence America that they had to flee the country en masse for Canada.

Or try this one out: After the collapse of the South African Apartheid Regime in 1994, the majority black population reelect for their Presidents only persons who were National Party members before the 1994 elections!

Jan 09, 2013 12:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
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