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The Chinese media have given front-page coverage to Mr Xi’s New Year greetings to non-communist parties ahead of Chinese New Year on 31st January.
Mr Xi said the Communist Party of China (CPC) are “firmly relying on the people, including non-communist members, defeated various challenges and difficulties in the last year and achieved outstanding results”. He hoped “that all the non-communist members” can cooperate with the CPC to “make further contributions this year”.
In regional news, Chinese media are criticizing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for comparing China-Japan relations to pre-war UK-Germany ties. Coming to Mr Abe’s defence, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the PM was not painting a war scenario with China. The assurance, however, has not quietened Mr Abe’s critics especially China’s Foreign Ministry who are asking Mr Abe to reflect on the Sino-Japanese war in 1894. The People’s Daily warns that Japan’s “stubbornness is bringing danger to the world”. While adopting an equally sarcastic tone, the China Daily suggests Mr Abe has changed his stance on ties with China too many times and that “trusting him may prove to be too costly “.
In domestic news, media are also discussing the “super-national treatment” given to civil servants, with netizens calling entitlements for government officials to be scrapped. The web portal NetEase reports the welfare benefits civil servants currently receive, including “above-average salary”, “cheap housing”, “free healthcare” and other “perks” including having a “low-stress job” and the opportunities to gain “grey income”, which refers to unrecorded earnings. Though there seem to be great benefits of working in the government, the situation in 2013 “has changed”, as President Xi Jinping rolled out austerity measures last year such banning expensive meals and receiving gifts. Some civil servants have even lamented that “life is more difficult now”, but Xu Yaotong from Chinese Academy of Governance tells the paper that “civil servants should not be getting so many benefits in the first place”. Joining the debate, the Global Times says the discussion on “super-national treatment” is “emotional” and will “intensify tensions”.
Meanwhile, China’s broadcasting watchdog has asked TV stations to produce more original cultural programmes that promote the “China dream”, reports Xinhua news agency. “Broadcast media need to conscientiously shoulder the social responsibility to promote and pass on traditional culture… insist on the right direction, highlight theme on ‘China Dream’…” the agency quotes the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television as saying.
And finally, music composer Wu Songjin and lyricist Zou Dangrong have penned a song entitled “Steamed Bun Store” after President Xi Jinping recently queued up for his steamed bun lunch at a dumpling shop in Beijing.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham