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Oriental Daily: The CCP Deceived the World about the Yangtze River Shipwreck Rescue.

On June 7, 2015, Hong Kong Oriental Daily published a commentary titled, “The CCP Deceived the World about the Yangtze River Shipwreck Rescue.” On June 1, 2015, a Yangtze River Passenger Cruise Ship, “The Eastern Star” capsized. Of the 456 people on board, only 14 people survived. Seven swam ashore; five drifted to other places where local residents saved them, and “rescue teams” saved two more. The other 444 people either died or were missing. This shipwreck caused the most deaths since 1949, the year when the People’s Republic of China was established. From June 2 to June 5, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Propaganda Department issued 5 orders to restrict and ban media coverage.

On June 2, the CCP Propaganda Department notified all media that no reporters were allowed to visit the shipwreck area or conduct interviews. Many reporters ignored the ban and still interviewed some survivors and witnesses. Their articles could not be published. A 2nd notice from the Propaganda Department stated that all media in China could only publish relevant Xinhua News articles or broadcast the China Central Television (CCTV) footage. "The news must highlight the CCP Central Committee’s attention to the incident, to the rescue efforts, and to the treatment of the victims. Do not describe the details of the tragedy. Whoever violates the rules must be held accountable." 

On June 3rd, Prime Minister Li Keqiang held a moment of silence in front the victims’ bodies at the scene. The CCP Propaganda Department disallowed any mention of it so as to avoid any misinterpretation that the silence was for the students killed on Tiananmen Square in 1989. Also on June 3, China invited 75 reporters from overseas to the rescue site. CCTV reported that foreign reporters praised the Chinese government for how it handled the emergency. 
On June 5, the Foreign Ministry Information Department organized 30 reporters from 20 overseas mainstream media to board the wrecked ship and learn the latest developments on the rescue. The foreign media reporters did not know that what they saw was well choreographed performances. About two hundred Chinese reporters who rushed to the place could not get anywhere near the scene, let alone “board the ship.” 

The Oriental Daily commentary concluded, “China’s official media said the rescue efforts ‘touched China.’ Actually, everything was planned in detail and under strict media control. The CCP deceived the world.”

Source: Hong Kong Oriental Daily, June 7, 2015