The future of China is so bright you need to wear sunglasses inside to see.
That’s the essence of recent propaganda from China, where the state promotes good lies with discussion of the bad truth strictly forbidden.
Please consider Don’t Fret About the Data, China’s GDP Forecast to be Good News.
“The focus for the month of September will be strengthening economic propaganda and . . . promoting the discourse on China’s bright economic future and the superiority of China’s system,” the party’s propaganda department said in a directive to national media outlets.
A photograph of the latest directive was posted online by California-based China Digital Times, which monitors Chinese media and internet censorship. “They want to control how the media frames and interprets [economic data], making sure that they all focus on positive things,” said Xiao Qiang, CDT founder.
CDT also posted a notice from the chief editor’s office at the Xinhua news agency, dated September 7, that reiterated the need to “stabilise expectations and inspire confidence”. The Xinhua notice instructed staff to “please plan related reporting” and send their story ideas to the agency’s Creative Planning Center.
This week, Chinese leaders went on a public relations offensive, having stayed largely silent during both a controversial stock market intervention launched in July and last month’s “one-off” devaluation of the renminbi.
China’s central bank remained silent for two days after devaluing the renminbi 1.9 per cent against the dollar on August 11 and adjusting its mechanism for setting the currency’s daily dollar “reference rate”.
David Bandurski, at the University of Hong Kong’s China Media Project, said it was rare for the propaganda department to issue written rather than oral directives for fear they might leak. “Economic troubles have been a focus of concern in the party’s news and propaganda work lately,” he added. “The content of these purported propaganda instructions fits with what official state media have been pushing for the last few months.”
An official whose name and phone number appeared on the Xinhua notice declined to comment. The party propaganda department could not be reached for comment.
Say the right things and you move up the party line. Say the wrong things and you are put in prison or shot.
China has no human rights, appalling property rights, illiquid bond markets of insufficient size, and a pegged currency it can no longer control smoothly. Capital controls round out the mess.
Yet, people think the Yuan will “soon” become the world’s reserve currency, replacing the US dollar.
I have heard these yuan reserve currency “soon” stories for at least a decade. What a joke.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock