January 30 — Top officials and representatives from major Chinese Web portals met in Beijing to assess progress in the government’s Internet clean-up campaign, launched in March 2006 and marked by such slogans as the “development of a civilized Internet” and the “building of harmonious culture”. A number of top media officials were present at the meeting, including Cai Mingzhao (蔡名照), a deputy director at the State Council Information Office and Hu Qiheng (胡启恒), a key figure behind China’s proposed real-name registration system for the Web, as well as representatives from People.com, Xinhuanet, Sina.com, Sohu.com and other major Chinese Web portals.According to a Xinhua News Agency report on the meeting, representatives reached consensus opinion that the Internet clean-up campaign had “achieved good results, but there were still a number of unharmonious elements on the Internet”.
January 30 – Roughly one year after his essay on Chinese history textbooks caused propaganda officials to order the shutdown of the Freezing Point supplement of China Youth Daily, retired Guangzhou historian Yuan Weishi wrote an editorial for Southern Metropolis Daily praising Deng Xiaoping for his vision in setting China on the path to reform and moving the country beyond ideological diviseness. The editorial, no less gutsy than Yuan’s Freezing Point essay, begged the question: if it had been this essay in Freezing Point in 2006, how would the propaganda department’s News Commentary Group have responded?
January 31 — An official story about President Hu Jintao’s announcement at a recent “collective study” session of the Politburo that leaders must seek to “develop [the Web] well, use it well and manage it well” (建设好、利用好、管理好) lingered for more than a week on the news page at popular Web portal Sina.com — an example itself of the injunction to “use it well”. In the news report, which first appeared on major Web portals on the evening of January 24, Hu Jintao was quoted as saying “we must, with an energetic attitude and a spirit of innovation, strongly develop and propagate a healthy and uplifting Internet culture, practically building the Internet well, using it well and managing it well”.

David Bandurski

CMP Director

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