Value Bombs

In the weeks following a speech on ideology given by Chinese President Xi Jinping in August 2013, a new hardline term emerged to characterize the CCP’s bid for dominance over public opinion. That term, “public opinion struggle,” or yulun douzheng (舆论斗争), had hardline leftist overtones, and seemed to hearken back to an earlier era of Party rule. A series of strongly worded editorials in August spoke of the dangers posed to Party rule by such ideas as constitutionalism. As mainstream Party media, including the People’s Daily, formally joined the attack in September, many officials used militaristic metaphors to describe the Party’s “struggle” for ideological dominance. Arguments were no longer just arguments, but “value bombs” contending against one another in a life-or-death “struggle.”

David Bandurski

Now director of the CMP, leading the project’s research and partnerships, David joined the team in 2004 after completing his master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He is currently an honorary lecturer at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House), a book of reportage about urbanization and social activism in China, and co-editor of Investigative Journalism in China (HKU Press).