China Daily: It's Not Just for the Watergate Any More

Yesterday I mentioned my satisfaction at discovering that the world's finest newspaper, the China Daily, is now available right in front of the Atlantic's office in the Watergate building in DC. The Atlantic's Steve Clemons, just back from China, had a more detailed version of the same pleased reaction.

Now I learn, from a reader based in Shanghai, that China Daily and its Chinese government supporters have extended the same thoughtfulness to other parts of America. Here is the Bloomberg Foyer of the Baker Library at Harvard Business School two weeks ago:


China Daily, People's Daily, and Wall Street Journal laid out on one table: what else could any HBS student want to read? The editorial-page writers for all three publications share a temperamental similarity in their preference for seamless world-views, despite some differences in policy outlook.

Also, there is this account from Japan of China Daily's extension of its footprint there and elsewhere in Asia too.

A nice touch in this report is its reproduction of one of China Daily's classic headlines: the news that 'Most Nations' joined the PRC government in outrage over the selection of Liu Xiaobo as recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. You can read the original story here. Highlights from its lead:

Award 'cannot change fact he is a criminal'

BEIJING - Most nations support China's stance on the Nobel Peace Prize, and China will not yield to outside pressure on this issue, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Thursday in response to a question concerning the prize being awarded to convicted criminal Liu Xiaobo.

"Any attempt to deter China from development will be futile," she said....

Jiang denounced what she said were "double standards" applied to China's legal system, and criticized the US House of Representatives for calling on the Chinese government to release Liu.

She said most nations do not support the Nobel Committee's "wrong decision". Any move by the committee will not change the fact that "Liu committed crimes", she said.

More to read, more to enjoy.
UPDATE A reader in Philly writes:
China Daily is everywhere now--not only Harvard Business School and DC. It's one of three free papers always available in the mailroom of my Philadelphia high-rise--alongside Philadelphia Weekly and Metro, the free paper they give away at the subways. If you think CD is just targeting the elites, you're wrong. They're after the mix of arts students and ancient pensioners who live in my building too.

I was joking about elite targeting, but it's interesting to know how sweeping China Daily's ambitions are becoming. Later on we can discuss whether broader exposure to 'Most Nations Oppose' stories like the one above helps or hurts the Chinese government's "soft power" strategies.

Also, a reader in Beijing writes:

I'm happy you can get your China Daily now also in the US.

What is worth mentioning is that the USA edition is not the same as the mainland edition, nor as the Hong Kong edition. While it is a good idea for the Chinese government to get the word out to different parts of the world outside China, news is very much tailored depending on what the Chinese authorities think is fit for the specific region.
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

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