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Geo-Strategic Trend - 149. page

Tightened Media Engagement between Hong Kong, Macao and the Mainland

On December 29, Wang Chen, Director of State Council Information Office, said that in 2009, the relationship between Hong Kong and Macao media and the Mainland was tightening more and more. According to statistics by the Information Office, there are 19 HK/Macao media agencies with more than 80 reporters covering Mainland news. In 2009, these reporters delivered 1688 person-time work on important affairs. He emphasized the facts that HK/Macao reporters attended Mainland advanced trainings; and HK/Macao media provided strong support in tough situations such as the earthquake. Wang urged the reporters to follow the instructions from public opinion administrative officials when reporting emergency events.

Source: Xinhua, December 29, 2009

Renewed China-France Relationship for Fundamental Interests

Major Chinese news portal Sohu recently republished an article by Outlook Weekly, a magazine by Xinhua, about French Premier Francois Fillon’s visit to China. The article reported that Mr. Fillon was happy when he returned to Paris before Christmas with several “major deals.” It also declared the downturen of the relationship between the two countries started in 2008, when France “interfered” with Chinese internal affairs. During Fillon’s visit, he met with Hu Jingtao and Wen Jiabao, who agreed to the continuation of the China-France “strategic partnership.” The Chinese government however dismissed the French position which was that, “China should understand that France has a long standing tradition of freedom of speech.”

Source: Sohu, December 29, 2009

Wen Jiabao: Strategically, Comprehensively, and Stably Enhance China-Europe Relations

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on November 30, 2009, that development of the current situation requires that  China and Europe enhance China-EU relations strategically, comprehensively, and stably. Wen made the speech at the 12th China-EU summit in Nanjing on November 30, 2009, according to Xinhua. Wen Jiabao, Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso hosted the summit.

Source: Xinhua, November 30, 2009

Huanqiu Comments on German Nationality, Advocates Export of Values

A recent Huanqiu article analyzed German netizens’ responses to a Der Spiegel report about the German government’s investigation of four Chinese spy suspects. The state media believed that Der Spiegel was “inducing” the German public to criticize the Chinese government. Although readers did not react as expected, Germans may not be “tired of the media’s anti-China attitude,” added Huanqiu

Said Zhu Yutong, Huanqiu’s reporter in Germany, “The honeymoon period when Western media praise China for favors may be gone forever.… Now China is strong; they cannot control it – at least economically. They need to find a political, moral, and psychological high ground. As long as China remains so strong that any noise cannot disturb it (China), this voice will weaken, as if they had surrendered.” “Germany is bullying the weak and fearing the strong.” 
Zhu added, “China should, with the language and approaches that they understand, export its own values. It is a new challenge.” 
Source: Huanqiu, December 2, 2009

China Daily: Harper Gave up Hugh Rights for Economic Development

China Daily commented on Harper’s visit to China, saying that after years of being firm concerning human rights issues, Harper finally saw the light, became realistic and traded it for economic cooperation with China.

The commentary said that Canada’s support for Falun Gong, the Taiwan question, and the Tibet issue has greatly hurt the Sino-Canada relationship. On the contrary, the U.S. was quite pragmatic. Bush raised Sino-US ties to their best period in history, and Obama downplayed ideology and declared to respect other countries’ choices concerning internal matters. Finally, the economic pressure drew Harper to mend his China policy.

The commentary said “… if Canada respects China over issues concerning China’s core interests, bilateral ties could realize sound development.”

The Chinese version listed meeting the Dalai Lama in 2007 and refusing to attend the Beijing Olympic Games as Harper’s transgressions, which were not mentioned in the English version.

Source: People’s Daily, December 2, 2009
China Daily, December 2, 2009

Chinese Language Rises Amid Financial Crisis

The fourth annual Confucius Institute will be held in Beijing December 11 to 13. As a press conference for the event, Xu Lin, the Director of the state agency Hanban, and The Chinese Language Council International under Ministry of Education, commented that the impact on Confucius Institutes and overseas Chinese language promotion is counter-cyclical. 

Xu, also the Executive Director of the Headquarters of the Confucius Institute, explained that as China has not been hit hard by the financial crisis, and many foreigners wanted to learn how Chinese deal with the crisis, the demand for Chinese language learning has been increasing. 
According to the data provided by Hanban, by the end of 2008, 249 Confucius Institutes have been established in 78 countries. Within the crisis year of 2009, 33 more Confucius Institutes and 10 more countries were added. The theme of this year’s annual conference is “Confucius Institutes and Community Service.” 
Source: Huanqiu, December 4, 2009
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