Chinese Communist Party Calls for Increased Control of Mass Media, Especially the Internet

June 7, 2005

Xinhua has published an opinion piece entitled “How Do We Firmly Grasp Guidance of Public Opinion, and Strengthen Our Ability to Guide Public Opinion?” The State Council Information Office lists this piece as “Questions and Answers on Theory #61” on a section of their Web site dedicated to the Fourth Plenum of the 16th Communist Party Congress, which was held from September 16-19, 2004. The piece states that the Communist Party places enormous emphasis on controlling the media, particularly new forms of media such as the Internet and cell phones, in order to manipulate the opinions of Chinese citizens. Some excerpts:

  • It is crucial to increasing the governing ability of the Communist Party and consolidating the governing position of the Party to be able to use the best political techniques to effectively regulate and control all types of mass media, guide social popular opinion, and utilize mainstream ideology to create conformity among the increasingly diverse thoughts and perspectives and diverse society.
  • In China, journalism constitutes one of the major parts of the Party's enterprises, the news media is the mouthpiece of the Party and the people, and must be under the leadership of the Party. In its thought, the news must take Marxism as its guide, must maintain a high degree of unanimity with the central Party with Comrade Hu Jintao as the Secretary; . . . in its organization it must insist on the Party's leadership of news work, ensure that leaders of news organizations at all levels firmly grasp in their hands loyalty to Marxism, and loyalty to the Party and the people.
  • It is necessary to wake up and recognize the deep influence on ideological work of the Internet, cell phones, and other new media, scientifically grasp the special characteristics and information dissemination rules of these media, adopt effective measures, actively guide Internet popular opinion, take the initiative to provide information services, and enable the Internet and cell phones to become a new platform for ideological work.