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Saturday, February 4, 2023

CHINA AND WESTERN MEDIA COVERAGE #443

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GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON

In today’s Column I want to comment on Western media coverage of China culminating with reference to the Shanghai filmed Covid street protest.
Generally media coverage of China is negative as a glance at this weekend’s news headlines in the Financial Times and the South China Morning Post reveal. The West and its news agencies are not friendly towards China and prefer to focus on negatives and imbalance rather than on positives and balance. Here are this weekend’s extracts;-
SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST
“Shanghai’s Home Market to Worsen as Rich Owners Escape Faltering Economy”
“Another blow for China’s battered consumer exports to October”
“China sheds light on population woes, says 13 provinces shrank in 2021”
“China’s Covid protests grow after apartment blaze kills 10”

Social media posts allege fire services’ response was hampered by coronavirus restrictions”

THE FINANCIAL TIMES
“Unverified videos of protests in the city on Friday evening were widely circulated. Officials on Saturday denied some of the claims about the fire and said certain images online of locked doors were fake, China’s state media agency Xinhua reported.”

“Chinese telecoms groups Huawei and ZTE barred from US sales”

“Washington cites national security in an Order that includes phones, cameras and WiFi router”

“UK limits use of Chinese-made surveillance systems on government sites…Decisions taken on security grounds”

Good News about China reported by the BBC is rare and Bad News is frequent. And yet increasingly the Developing World turns to China to find solutions to problems of poor economic growth, inadequate housing, and poor quality infrastructure. It is a success story. It does not mean that such global initiatives always succeed but its progress far outweighs its setbacks. You would not know that from relying on Western News Agencies. Dig around. The information is there – in particular see the reports of the US John Hopkins University.

Now to Covid and reports of citizens frustration at the continued hard line Party policy on lockdown. There are always two sides. With firmly enforced restrictions, China’s population of 1.4bn people has suffered 5,220 Covid deaths. With casually enforced restrictions, the US and UK’s population of 470m+ has suffered 1.3m Covid deaths. These are remarkable figures. Maybe not enough to persuade some people in China to continue to observe the lockdown and it is likely that others may protest in other cities. That is an issue for the Government of China and the People of China. My guess is that the Government will maintain a firm Safety First policy even if it meets with opposition from an uncertain number of Chinese citizens.

#xijinping #biden #sunak #chathamhouse #foreignaffairs

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