Illustration: Liu Rui/GT
The US has intensified its suppression of mainstream Chinese media outlets by imposing a cap on the number of Chinese citizens permitted to work in the US for five major Chinese state-run media outlets. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said these outlets are controlled by the Chinese government and are not independent news organizations. For some time, the US has been attacking mainstream Chinese media in an attempt to smear China’s political system and seek support for radical US policies.
The US has been trying to tell people that commercial Western media is independent and is thus objective and impartial, while Chinese media, established and directed by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government, is bound to serve only the authorities and deviate from facts. This is a widespread misconception.
News media is part of every society’s political system. Historically, it is difficult to make an isolated assessment of the news industry. Its role must be verified by different degrees of progress of the times.
No matter how the concept of “independent media” was formed and what its original meaning was, the truth is that all Western mainstream media belong to a certain financial group. Due to the inextricable links between financial groups and politics, different Western media have their own clear-cut political stands on major issues.
For example, since the 2020 presidential campaign began, Western media have quickly turned to different camps of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. They have turned into tools for different candidates. Western media is run by capitalists, who profit by providing news services to the public. This has decided whom these media want to please and whom to attack. Western media attaches great importance to self-expression, strengthening their presence and gaining popularity. They emphasize that they are the so-called Fourth Estate, because power equals benefits.
Mainstream US media has gained infamy due to their involvement in domestic partisan disputes and have done little to help the country make major decisions. When former US president George W. Bush launched the Iraq War, the mission was completely based on lies. But US media did not oppose the war. When US President Donald Trump advocated “America First” and launched trade wars, mainstream US media was busy confronting Trump over trivial issues.
We do not want to emphasize the unique strengths of Chinese state-run media vis-a-vis Western media dominated by capitalists. But some people in the West are so aggressive. As a result, we should no longer remain silent.
Chinese media’s mission is to promote the continuous progress of the country under the leadership of the CPC. We advocate reform and opening-up and contribute to the overall modernization of the Chinese society.
Mainstream Chinese media has helped China create a positive collective sentiment, promote social unity and rationality and increase communication between the government and the people.
The CPC’s motto – serving the people wholeheartedly – is not an empty slogan. It has stood the test of the Chinese people and global competition.
China and the US have major differences in social organization systems, but it is inappropriate to discuss which system is superior by comparing their media industries. If the US system is as good as it says, why would it be in panic when facing China’s progress, which stems from the Chinese system? The US could have just used its system to make itself great again.