June 01, 2005

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Ching Cheong and Chinese media brainwashing

Arrested Straits Times journalist Ching Cheong is alleged to have "confessed" to being a spy for an undisclosed foreign intelligence agency. The Foreign Ministry naturally said the arrest had nothing to do with Ching's attempts to gather secret interview transcripts with Zhao Ziyang (someone the CCP has never been sure how to deal with):

The ministry's spokesman, Kong Quan, denied that Ching was apprehended as part of a crackdown against the circulation of a manuscript containing remarks from deposed leader Zhao.

When asked about the case, Kong said: "I can make this very clear to you, Ching's case is totally unrelated to Zhao Ziyang. We are a country with rule of law. We only act on evidence. He has confessed to it.''

You can imagine how he was made to confess. What is most incredible is Ching was once the deputy editor-in-chief of the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po paper. He quit with a brace of others in response to Tiananmen in 1989. The repercussions of those events are still being felt today.

Co-incidentally (or not) the SCMP reports all non-official media reporters must attend a week long brain-washing course to retain their licence:

Beijing has launched a nationwide ideological indoctrination campaign for journalists to tighten its grip on the media. Most of the tens of thousands of journalists not working for official media organisations have been asked to attend week-long courses in order to qualify for a reporter's licence, sources revealed....

In Beijing, many journalists have been required to pay more than 1,400 yuan for the week-long course. The two-part course includes theoretical study of Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and Jiang Zemin's Theory of the Three Represents and lectures on ethics and regulations.

Journalists are required to produce a paper on the theoretical content and sit a two-hour written test on ethics and the regulatory environment. "The paper is like the one we did for our university's compulsory political course," a Beijing-based journalist said. "The second part is more like the written test for a driver's licence. The key is to remember the main points of the state regulations and rules."

But double standards are at play.
Shanghai journalists said they were only charged a few hundred yuan for their course and did not have to write a theoretical paper.
Expect even more journos to move to Shanghai in the months ahead.

Other reading on Ching Cheong

Those who dare gives some background on the Straits Times.
Chris on the loose definition of spying.
Singapore Angle has plenty of links.

posted by Simon on 06.01.05 at 09:53 AM in the


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