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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

And Now, a Word from the Propaganda Bureau

August 18, 2008

Agam's Gecko Blog
August 16, 2008

Unable to control the international media either through official
restrictions or thug-like behavior, the CCP remains committed to
controlling the domestic narrative of the Olympic Games as it is told
by its own intimidated national press. Nothing must be left to
chance, as Australia's Sydney Morning Herald reports on a new edict
issued to the Chinese media.

A stunningly frank 21-point plan from the propaganda bureau was
issued to editors and journalists and orders them to ignore hot
international topics and any issues that may reflect negatively on
the Olympic Games.

A translation of this directive from the state propaganda unit was
obtained by SMH. The reference to "cancer-causing mineral water" has
already raised some eyebrows.

1. The telecast of sports events will be live [but] in case of
emergencies, no print is allowed to report on it.

2. From August 1, most of the previously accessible overseas websites
will be unblocked. No coverage is allowed on this development.
There's also no need to use stories published overseas on this matter
and [website] operators should not provide any superlinks on their pages.

3. Be careful with religious and ethnic subjects.

4. Don't make fuss about foreign leaders at the opening ceremony,
especially in relation to seat arrangements or their private lives.

5. We have to put special emphasis on ethnic equality. Any perceived
racist terms as "black athlete" or "white athlete" is not allowed.
During the official telecast, we can refer to Taiwan as "Chinese
Taipei". In ordinary times, refer to Taiwanese athletes as "those
from the precious island Taiwan....." In case of any pro
Taiwan-independence related incident inside the venue, you shall
follow restrictions listed in item 1.

6. For those ethnic Chinese coaches and athletes who come back to
Beijing to compete on behalf of other countries, don't play up their
"patriotism" since that could backfire with their adopted countries.

7. As for the Pro-Tibetan independence and East Turkistan movements,
no coverage is allowed. There's also no need to make fuss about our
anti-terrorism efforts.

8. All food saftey issues, such as cancer-causing mineral water, is off-limits.

9. In regard to the three protest parks, no interviews and coverage is allowed.

10. No fuss about the rehearsals on August 2,5. No negative comments
about the opening ceremony.

11. No mention of the  Lai Changxing case.

12. No mention of those who illegally enter China.

13. On international matters, follow the official line. For instance,
follow the official propaganda line on the North Korean nuclear
issue; be objective when it comes to the Middle East issue and play
it down as much as possible; no fuss about the Darfur question; No
fuss about UN reform; be careful with Cuba. If any emergency occurs,
please report to the foreign ministry.

14. If anything related to territorial dispute happens, make no fuss
about it. Play down the Myanmar issue; play down the Takeshima island dispute.

15. Regarding diplomatic ties between China and certain nations,
don't do interviews on your own and don't use online stories.
Instead, adopt Xinhua stories only. Particularly on the Doha round
negotiation, US elections, China-Iran co-operation, China-Aussie
co-operation, China-Zimbabwe co-operation, China-Paraguay co-operation.

16. Be very careful with TV ratings, only use domestic body's
figures. Play it down when rating goes down.

17. In case of an emergency involving foreign tourists, please follow
the official line. If there's no official line, stay away from it.

18. Re possible subway accidents in the capital, please follow the
official line.

19. Be positive on security measures.

20. Be very careful with stock market coverage during the Games.

21. Properly handle coverage of the Chinese sports delegation:

A. don't criticise the selection process

B. don't overhype gold medals; don't issue predictions on gold medal
numbers; don't make fuss about cash rewards for athletes.

C. don't make a fuss about isolated misconducts by athletes.

D. enforce the publicity of our anti-doping measures.

E. put emphasis on government efforts to secure the retirement life
of atheletes.

F. keep a cool head on the Chinese performance. Be prepared for
possible fluctations in the medal race.

G. refrain from publishing opinion pieces at odds with the official
propangada line of the Chinese delegation.

Neither the International Olympic Committee nor the "Ministry of
Industry and Information Technology" were willing to make any comment
on the new press restrictions.
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