Ideological split hits China Daily

Despite its cover price of HK$6, the Hong Kong edition of China Daily seems to have become the city’s second English-language free newspaper. It has little advertising, and the middle-aged women handing it out on the sidewalks of Central every morning are somehow more depressing than their counterparts distributing the Standard, Metro, etc, but no-one pays for it.

A lot of these free papers are collected by elderly folk who roam the area filling their wheeled shopping baskets with them; they get a couple of bucks a kilo from the recycling companies (who probably pulp the stuff so that it ends up as… newsprint for free papers?) Others are picked up by commuters to read on their journey or flick through in the office. The South China Morning Post is often still undelivered to shops at 8am in my neighbourhood, which can’t hurt demand for the English-language freebies. (For the truly desperate, there is a third gratis English publication: the Falun Gong’s rabidly anti-communist Epoch Times, currently denouncing Beijing’s propaganda machine for its gleeful coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests.)

Unlike the tabloid Standard, which largely contains establishment-slanted, bite-size news reports and showbiz stuff, China Daily has lengthy opinion and analysis pieces. But there is little range of views. The same half-dozen or so interchangeable writers faithfully stick to the official line and even move in unison, herd-like, between topics from day to day. In an attempt to spice itself up (state-owned propaganda sheets are expected to be self-financing these days), the paper also carries cultural and lifestyle features, but there is something uniquely wooden about them, celebrating the achievements of happy rural women or the health benefits of some traditional foodstuff. China Daily comes with two settings: inoffensively bland and deafeningly loyal and patriotic.

So it is amusing to see that today’s Hong Kong opinion page contains a conflict between writers. For several weeks now, the columnists have been taking it in turns to pile on bitter, almost pathological criticism of the Civic Party for its involvement in legal cases on the Zhuhai Bridge and right of abode for foreign maids. Today’s piece by Lo Man-tuen sinisterly avoids mentioning the CP by name and focuses on the evil that is judicial review – ‘sugar-coated poison’, it says.

Meanwhile, just to the left of that article, one Kwan Tsiu singles out what she calls a “free tabloid well-known for its anti-social mentality,” which presumably means Next Media Group’s Sharp Daily. The hurtful paper, she complains, spread hatred in its use of words when it described the Chief Executive’s well-intentioned policy address on Wednesday as ‘sugar-coated [thus implicitly] poison’.

They can’t both be right. Someone is deviating from the party line and is asking for a struggle session.

Click to hear the Keene Brothers’ ‘Death of a Party’!

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Ideological split hits China Daily

  1. Real Tax Payer says:

    This got me looking in the BJ edition of today’s China Daily, but alas no HKopinion juicy bits.

    Guess HK’s “storm in a teacup” politics are far below the interest of the average English-only reader in BJ ( = 95 % of Lao Wai up here)

    Which, actually, does make the point that what we are squabbling about in HK is pretty much peanuts to the average educated news-paper – reading Chinese or Lao Wai – of whatever nationality – in China

    Meanwhile life chugs along happily here in the Mainland (albeit through the traffic jams … the BJ smog was cleared by last night’s thunderstorms) as one quarter of the world’s population lifts itself up by it’s own bootlaces in defiance of every scaremongering journalist for the past 25 years … some sort of anti-gravity thing ?

    Whatever the CCCP is doing that we may consider “wrong” from HK’s miniscule point of view, they are sure doing a helluva lot of things that are “right” .

    “It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white as long as it catches the mouse”

    Sure catching a lot of mice here in the Mainland

    I’m seriously thinking of applying to join the CCCP if they accept Lao Wai members ……

    OK : shoot me down all you .

    But if so , let me ask how often did YOU travel every day of (almost) every week of every year for the past 25 years in the Mainland and brush shoulders with the average Chinese… and I’m not talking of just ” BJ Chinese” : I mean those out in the sticks where I oftime venture because our key customers now have a habit of setting up new factories in the sticks where the labor rates are much lower.

  2. Walter De Havilland says:

    I believe we are witnessing the death throws on the print media in Hong Kong. Circulation figures are collapsing as the Internet takes over. The print media barons in Hong Kong have no viable response except sensationalism and nudity … the Apple is experimenting with animated news clips, but these just dumb down and exaggerate. None of this is healthy for the development of democracy.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    I take nudity over democracy any day.

  4. Walter De Havilland says:

    How about a nude democracy … we’ve nothing hide!

  5. Holidaymaker says:

    Real Tax Payer: Xinhua and China Daily don’t need your help. Give it a rest.

  6. Big Al says:

    Even better: Sensational nudity!

  7. Lucas O'Gara says:

    RTP works for an entity that has customers running factories in the boonies in China? Selling cattle prods and electroshock/explosive collars for use in managing the workers?.

  8. Stephen says:

    Holidaymaker – agreed

    The CCP rule a China racked with corruption – Food, Railways and I wonder whats next Real Estate?

    As for our own little miniscule town – they will be appointing the next CE who will resemble a horse and will be lame.

    Its beer o clock – weekend must be open.

  9. paul says:

    Is it possible to find psychiatrist to express an opinion upon the two columnists mental state? They go on about how excellent the rule of law is and then condemn the “big lawyers” for exercising the very rights in the rule of law. Is this not a classic example of schitzophrenia?

  10. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Lucas

    Not cattle prods !

    :- l

    Please give me some credit …. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Rather , a certain quite expensive and very important household appliance , of which you certainly have at least one if not several in your home. regardless of what brand name : Western, Japanese , Korean or whatever – they are all made in China , along with over 70% of WW production of that particular appliance, regardless of brand name because almost all such production is now manufactured under private label in China

    And what’s not physically made in China is probably now made by Chinese-owned companies who have set up factories in some of the most surprising countries in the world which you would never think of as places to invest and manufacture in : Turkey, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Jordan, Russia, Ubekistan, ( and several other ” -stans” )

    But I must qualify my earlier posting : the CCCP is certianly catching a lot of mice, but equally a lot of mice are not being caught ( yet , and probably not for a very long time to come)

    Nothing is perfect , sadly .

    But then, again, HK has a LOT of not-yet-caught mice ( some offspring of which seem to have no balls*) despite the ICAC

    Not to mention mice on Wall Street…

    (* whatever happened to the underpant bomber’s balls ? Surely they at least were burnt to cinders )

  11. Deng Xiaoping says:

    The CCP appoints the mayor of every city in China. Hong Kong is just another city in China. To get rich is glorious. Sit down and shut up.

  12. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Deng XP

    Too true … TOO TRUE

    Also your pen name = my real-life REAL hero in real life

    No Sh1t

    Now THAT’s a guy who really had balls

    Wish I could do even the tiniest fraction of what THE REAL DXP did for China

Comments are closed.