The Chinese State Media Celebrate International Women's Day

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Yesterday I mentioned the hard-hitting coverage from the Onion People's Daily about the all-important lianghui, or "dual meetings," of the National People's Congress and the People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing. My friend Adam Minter, of Shanghai, points out that my imagination has once again fallen short of the reality of today's China:

I feel obligated to point out that 'beautiful female journalists' was, in fact, only part 2 of a series that commenced on Tuesday, with 'Beautiful Service Staff at the NPC and CPCC.' In fact, 'beautiful service staff' was above the fold, top of the web page news when it first ran.

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Web placement:

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Minter puts it in perspective:
In any event, I must admit that I've been clicking over to the People's Daily site all morning, looking for what today's "beautiful [fill in the blank] at the NPC and CPCC" feature will be. Being that it's international women's day, I'm expecting something special to complete the trilogy, but so far ... nothing. The betting man in me thinks, though, that the odds are better than even we'll see something like "Beautiful Soldiers at the NPC and CPCC" before the end of the day.
And as it happens, just now I see that the most-clicked item on the People's Daily site is about the country's first female fighter pilots, alas with no extraneous comment on their looks or whether they will be making goodwill appearances, with the "beautiful service staff," at the dual meetings.

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I cannot think of anything decorous to say, except: this is the kind of thing I miss. And, I foresee a promising Chinese remake of Top Gun.

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PS: The Wall Street Journal follows the People's Daily lead.
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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.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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