23 November, 2005

china bird flu guidelines for editors

AsiaPundit’s global headquarters is in Shanghai, however AP hasn’t received the memo on how to properly report on the bird flu.:

Birdflu-11. Control the total amount of news reports, make sure that there are not too many and not too few.

2. All major news stories about the Avian Flu must be approved by the authorities in the Provincial agriculture department, disease control and prevention department, and the relevant departments in the central government. No one can release information without going through this procedure, with the exception of certain very important events or information, for which internal consultation may suffice.

3. Propagate the message that the Avian Flu is preventable and controllable, but do not make statements about whether or not the disease is curable, and do not emphasize the fact that humans can also contract the disease.

4. All experts to be interviewed must be vetted by the provincial authorities, no publishing of individual expert opinions by itself.

5. No publishing of sensitive numbers or statistics, no photos involving armed personnel, no detailed reporting on the process of killing, destroying or burying birds.

6. No speculative guesses about the effects or long-term consequences of the disease. No reports or opinions from economists, sociologists or psychologists about the effect of the disease on society.

7. No quoting or carrying news reports from overseas media and increase monitoring of small newspapers, magazines, and internet sites. No carrying of reports that might distort facts, spread rumors, and arouse mass panic. Those that do not follow these guidelines will be handled accordingly.

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by @ 10:58 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia


The problems stemming from an explosion at a chemical plant in Jilin, China, are more severe than AsiaPundit had initially expected. The makers of one of China’s tastier lagers will almost certainly have to shut down production for at least four days.

Millions of people in Harbin will also be without water.

ESWN has the best collection of primary and secondary sources on the incident and also raises a vital question.:

Question:  Why is there no issue with the water quality of the Songhua river anywhere between Jilin and Harbin, or any points further beyond?


UPDATE: In the comments and here ESWN follows up:

According to China News, Songyuan City (which is located between Jilin and Harbin) in Jilin resumed the supply of water on November 23 around 1pm after a stoppage of seven days.
So the auxiliary mystery is just what explanation was given to the residents of Songyuan?  Maintenance?  Or benzene pollution?  In either case, if the Songyuan news got out, it would have changed the whole perception of the Harbin situation.  First, if they said maintenance, then what is the likelihood of every city along the river having maintenance issues one after another?  Second, if they said benzene, then everyone living by the river will be affected in time.  What was the news shut down?

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by @ 10:34 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, North Korea

china fails to reign in online games

While the Chinese government has been fairly successful at reigning in blogs, bulletin boards and news sites, the CPC is finding it difficult to thwart on-line game ‘addiction.‘:

Xinhua just published a report on a survey (not sure how scientific) they did to judge the effects of the fatigue system after the first month of implementation. The results are no surprise: it does not appear to have much of a effect in solving the government’s and parents’ concerns. Players are either:

1. Playing the same game but switching between accounts and/or servers every 3 hours;

2. Playing the same game but on private servers;

3. Playing more than one game.

I draw two conclusions at first glance. First, it is very difficult to regulate gamer behavior, and given the dearth of other entertainment outlets, these kids are going to keep playing games as long as they can, and the game companies are happy to oblige as long as they can find loopholes in the government policy.

Second, this is the third game addiction article from Xinhua in 4 days (the other 2 are the Blizzard lawsuit and class action against game companies articles). Xinhua represents the government, and these articles do not appear by coincidence. Most likely this is a topic the editors have been told to cover, probably because the government has already recognized that this system is not having the desired effect. This government does actually care about public opinion, and most parents hate these games (as they do in most countries).

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by @ 9:50 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Web/Tech

charles on china

AsiaPundit has always hoped that Queen Elizabeth II has a long reign. I’m not a fan of the monarchy, but I am a Canadian and would dread having Prince Charles on the currency when he assumes his role as head of state. I expect the Chinese leadership aren’t looking forward to that day either.:

JiangandcharlesBureaucratic, corrupt, and in possession of an overactive superiority complex’. In so many words, that was how Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, is reportedly to have described Mainland China, in a personal journal titled “The Handover of Hong Kong -`The Great Chinese Takeaway’”. Sections of which were published earlier this month in the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday edition of one of the world’s leading English language newspapers. Much to the distress of face conscious China.

In the journal, written by the Prince as a chronicle of his experiences and opinions during the 1997 hand-over of Hong Kong, form British control to Mainland Chinese rule, and obtained by the Mail on Sunday through undisclosed means, Prince Charles describes Chinese officials as being “appalling old waxworks” and the hand-over ceremony as being an "awful Soviet-style display" where the Chinese military ‘goose stepped’ around in a ‘ridiculous’ ceremony before turning on an artificial wind generator to make sure that the newly raised Chinese flag could be seen to ‘flutter enticingly’.

The journal, which was never intended for public consumption, then goes on to describe then Chinese President Jiang Xemin taking the podium and making an undisguised ‘propaganda’ speech to a crowd of loyalists, who had been gathered together by Beijing especially for the occasion in order to give the impression that the speech was well received by the masses.

Things haven’t improved much since the handover and passing of the Jiang era, ACB notes that Charles hasn’t taken a liking to Hu Jintao.:

The publication of the Prince’s acidic comments on China come at a particularly delicate time in relations between the British Imperial family and the Chinese State. Emerging, as they did, in near tandem with the circulation of rumors that Prince Charles purposefully arranged his travel plans so as to make himself unavailable for an official banquet with Hu Jintao, in effect arranging a boycott of the event, during President Hu’s recent visit to London.

Officially, Prince Charles was ‘recovering from jet lag’ during Hu’s visit. Unofficially, however he is said to have refused to attend as in protest against Beijing’s human rights record.

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by @ 9:21 pm. Filed under China, Hong Kong, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

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