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CHINESE MEDIA INDEPENDENCE August 3, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in East Asia.
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Perhaps China is not the country we think it is. Newspapers are publishing critical reports of the high-speed train crash near Wenzhou.

A ban was introduced after Premier Wen Jiaboa visited the city. Yet it seems that newspapers have defied the edict, even if poetic analogy was used by the Beijing News in on the breakage of a Song pottery item into six pieces suggesting the six carriages derailed.

Clifford Coonan in The Independent reports:

The Propaganda Ministry issued a statement to the media banning coverage, but the online anger and media criticism continue.

“The party’s information management system is broken,” said Kerry Brown, head of the Asia Programme at Chatham House, the international affairs think-tank. “In an era of revolution in information technology, we are seeing a central state strategy that has fallen by the wayside.”

There were similar outpourings of anger after events such as the poisoning of infant milk formula in 2008, but this time the outrage is being vented on the popular Weibo microblog service, where the rail crash was the top trending story.

Normally cowed by censors, the media has been voracious in its criticism of the government response. The crash dominated the front pages last week, with much of the coverage of strongly critical of the government’s attempts to boost economic advance at all costs, including those of consumer safety.

So it seems that whereas there seems in China glimmering of progress, the United States political system regresses. An development at odds with the assumptions of the innate superiority of Western Culture.

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