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As soon as China announced it would remove term limits
on the presidency, its censors and propaganda machine
kicked into gear.
The surprise move would clear the way for Xi Jinping
to stay in power indefinitely.
It's a break from China's decades-old rules
to prevent power from being too centralized around one person.
“In China, the most important political announcements
are made through the state-owned news organizations.
This explosive news was announced by Xinhua news agency
on Sunday in the afternoon.”
So how did officials try to spin the news?
On Weibo, China's version of Twitter,
published this video focusing on the central role
of the president.
“In the face of the complicated domestic and international
situation, this will further promote
the sustainable development of various great causes.”
China Central Television ran a similar editorial,
stating that “the people love their dear leader.”
Global Times, a Chinese daily, published an editorial
recommending that people “firmly support the
constitution amendment suggestion, which is both the rational choice
and our belief.”
But the same day, it published an editorial
that depicted the news in a softer light,
saying, “The change doesn't mean that the Chinese president will
have a lifelong tenure.”
The People's Liberation Army Daily
is the voice of the military.
It published a write-up saying that soldiers
and armed policemen all support the decision.
"President Xi Jinping has consolidated
his control of the army, and all of the soldiers
are supporting him 100 percent."
State-run media tried to control the narrative in Hong Kong, too.
“That video was made by the Ta Kung Pao.
It's a pro-Beijing Hong Kong newspaper.
And I think the most important part of the video
is trying to let people know that the Chinese constitution
actually had been changed four times
in the past several decades.
So it's not a big deal.
So people don't need to freak out.”
But not everyone was on board.
Chinese citizens took to social media networks
to voice their disagreements.
One user said he couldn't use the word “disagree” on Weibo,
because it was apparently a violation
of the social platform's terms.
But perhaps not surprisingly, those comments
were swiftly removed from the web.
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How China’s Media Sold Xi Jinping’s Power Grab | NYT

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Samuel published on March 13, 2018    Crystal Wu translated    jenny reviewed
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