Debates on the Nanfang Zhoumo Incident of January 2013

Open Letters in Reaction to the Nanfang Zhoumo Incident

by Lisa Krauss

The Open Letter of the Former Nanfang Zhoumo Editors and Journalists concerning the “2013 New Year Address”

The open letter was published on January 4, 2013, and was signed by 51 former Nanfang Zhoumo editors and journalists after the current staff was urged to revise and change an article criticizing the government. The open letter criticizes the party’s censorship in general and the leadership of the provincial propaganda chief Tuo Zhen (庹震) in particular. Furthermore, solidarity with Nanfang Zhoumo workers is expressed. Deutsche Welle, among others, published the open letter by the former Nanfang Zhoumo staff.

Public Proposal concerning the Dismissal of the Guangdong Propaganda Chief Tuo Zhen

The open letter was published on January 6, 2013. It was signed by 18 university professors, lawyers and writers from the Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan (Republic of China). First, the letter appeared on the websites of the micro-blogging services Weibo and Tencent, but was deleted shortly after publication. It remained traceable on the Internet and was re-published on various websites although the blog entries of the signees from that point in time have been deleted. The letter bluntly recommends to Hu Chunhua (胡春华), the Party secretary of Guangdong Province, to sack the head of the Guangdong propaganda department, Tuo Zhen, because his acts reflect badly on the economically important province.

58 Confucianists tell the world about the Nanfang Zhoumo’s New Year Message Incident

The letter appeared on various websites from January 7, 2013 onward. It started out with 18 signatures (as this blog entry shows), another 19 signatures were added within one day. Finally, 58 signees joined the cause. Among them are many university professors, scholars and academics. In the text, the self-proclaimed Confucianists protest the acts of the Chinese government to censor publications by the Nanfang Zhoumo by referring to the Zuo Zhuan (左傳), an ancient text about the history of the Spring and Autumn Period (8-5 c. BCE), and thus trying to show that good government has been a part of Chinese culture since ancient times.

The publication seems to contrast with a reaction from a Guangdong-based pro-government left-winged website. Red Song Club (红歌会网) claims the Nanfang Zhoumo’s call for freedom of the press is a sign of westernization and selfishness.

Zuletzt bearbeitet von: RS
Letzte Änderung: 18.12.2014
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