What’s happening in China? Sometimes, we don’t know, limited access to certain parts of the information dries up the sources. Information on the current floods is not overflowing from the official information sites. Journalist Wang Jian thinks the subject is China’s big problem right now.
Let the trains arrive on time!
Control over information reduces the knowledge of the country. Chinese journalists can’t talk about everything and must contribute to the harmony of society. We prefer trains that arrive on time. The Caixin site, in its paid edition, pushes the limit a little further. Foreign journalists, because of less developed networks, often have more difficulty getting information.
There are many foreign-based Chinese-language news sites and channels founded by people from China. They are usually very interesting because they include information not disclosed in China.
The problem is that some of them are not verifiable because of the lack of access to sources. Some of them are campaigning against the Beijing government; their passions blur the objectivity a bit. It is necessary to sort out and avoid the misinformation and risky speculation that abounds.
More open information would have prevented speculation about the origin of the virus and its spread in China. The international skies would be more serene.
Floods have not been in the official media headlines in recent days; the subject is little discussed. For example, the very official People.cn website today on its homepage covers a meeting of the Political Bureau chaired by Xi Jinping, the government’s actions, and its Prime Minister. You have to search the site to find something, a picture of a grandmother on the back of a brave rescuer. Only today in the print edition, President Xi’s words at this meeting on the floods are reported.
Sometimes not mentioning information is information and indicates its sensitivity. It will be remembered that in late December and early January, COVID 19 was practically invisible on the official media; the data on the Wuhan Health Commission site was very light. That was all it took to understand that something important was going on, as Wang Jian, based in the United States, claimed at the time. Fascinating China: when you don’t talk about a subject, silence actually talks about it!
Other Chinese sites are very discreet on the subject. Only Caixin, in its paid version, tackles the subject of the flood with information that can be found in the Western media, which prefer trains that don’t arrive on time.
I am always very reserved when faced with people who claim to know everything about China, whether they are Westerners or Chinese. The formers are dependent on information that is often partial and biased. The latter cannot have access to all the information. I have Chinese friends who had confessed to me that they “discovered” another China when they came to live abroad!
29 June 2020