采访/易如 编辑/王子琦 后制/钟元
Discipline Committee Investigates Media, People’s Daily
Secretary of Central Discipline Inspection Committee (CDIC)
Wang Qishan is investigating People’s Daily, after inspecting
and removing the communist mouthpiece CCTV.
Recently, People’s Daily has been giving out harsh criticism
against Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement;
CDIC’s sudden announcement of investigation at this time
is highly unexpected.
So is there a connection or is it pure coincidence,
and will People’s Daily follow the fate of CCTV?
—these questions are attracting international attention.
On Oct. 5, the CDIC released news on its website, saying
that People’s Daily has called for a conference, regarding
a special inspection assignment against them.
Pu Zengfan, team leader of the CDIC inspection team
stationed at People’s Daily, spoke at the conference.
Yan Xiaoming, the deputy chief editor and the secretary
of the Party Committee of People’s Daily was the host.
The purpose of the conference was to execute the instructions
of Wang Qishan and inspect People’s Daily, say reports.
The inspection is ran by two inspection teams,
headed by Pu Zengfan and Yan Xiaoming.
It is made up of leaders and cadres of grade six and above,
from departments such as discipline inspection, finance audit,
and organization & personnel.
The inspection covers three local branches of People’s Daily
and three affiliate publications and entrepreneurships.
It’s mainly about editorial decision making and deployment,
advice for good governance, bribery and extortion prevention,
selection and appointment, and matters for leading cadres.
Pu Zengfan has stated that the inspection must be treated
as a “political mission”.
Analysts believe it is very rare for the CDIC to pursue
an inspection against People’s Daily, and this proves that
corruption exists in the press.
Dr. Ye Ke from public policy: “Media such as People’s Daily
and CCTV are actually very corrupt; the CDIC will definitely
discover a lot of problems.”
“CCTV especially, is like a coup base of Zhou Yongkang
and Li Dongsheng’s political factions, and the investigation
will definitely uproot these connections; Liu Yunshan,
the propaganda department head, will also be implicated.”
“Therefore, this is actually a reflection of political struggles
within the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) high ranks.”
After the CCP 18th National Congress, its propaganda organs
have become the focus point of struggle within Zhongnanhai
(CCP’s political headquarters).
The intensifying rivalry between Xi Jinping and Jiang Zemin
and their battle for a voice were shown through incidents
like the Southern Weekly case, Xi Jinping’s political strikes,
and the boycotting against the abolition of labour camps, etc.
After the emergence of Occupy Central in Hong Kong
during the end of September, mainstream media worldwide
have directed their attention to the movement, but CCP media
including People’s Daily, have consistently criticized it.
So could the inspection be connected to
the ongoing events in Hong Kong?
Ye Ke: “The situation in Hong Kong is actually very delicate;
People’s Daily’s been bombarding Occupy Central nonstop.”
“Jiang’s faction has been attacking Xi Jinping continuously,
but he doesn’t have many cards left; all he can do right now
is to bring chaos to the situation.”
“People’s Daily is a system within Liu Yunshan’s control
and its mission is to create trouble for Xi Jinping.”
Hua Po, Beijing’s political observer: “I think this is to prepare
for the Fourth Plenary Session; there are many problems with
the CCP’s ideology and manner of propaganda, so perhaps,
they will create trouble during this period of time.”
“The foremost objective of Xi Jinping’s deployment of CDIC
against People’s Daily is to intimidate and pacify them,
while the Fourth Plenary Session is being held.”
CCTV, another heavyweight in the CCP’s propaganda system,
has also been caught in this political rivalry.
After the fall of CCTV’s deputy director, Li Dongsheng
at the end of 2013, every CCTV channel was caught up
in the anti-corruption storm and many high-level executives
were arrested, while employees underwent investigations.
Recently, the trend shows that the anti-corruption campaign
is moving to even higher levels within CCTV.
According to Taiwan’s Storm Media Group report,
high officials, Jia Qinglin and Liu Yunshan, are implicated
in a scandal involving a 10-million USD collusion
in purchasing TV series from Taiwan.
Commentators believe that, at least during the investigation,
the move against People’s Daily will create a tremendous
intimidating effect on state media at the central level,
causing leaders of various levels to become more cautious.
The CCP may also be using this opportunity
to bring down the heating situation in Hong Kong.
Interview/YiRu Edit/Wang Ziqi Post-Production/ZhongYuan