As the Wuhan virus continues to wreak havoc around the world, the Communist Party of China is now getting ready to celebrate the party’s 100th year of foundation. As they celebrate the centenary events, the CPC has gone on a propaganda overdrive across several mediums and has spent considerable resources on this self-glorifying act.
While China faces global condemnation for its alleged Coronavirus experiments in the Wuhan Lab and subsequent misinformation propaganda regarding the origin and spread of the Pandemic, its aggression along the LAC and several other issues, ‘The Hindu’ has chosen to further its commercial and ideological interests by promoting Communist China’s propaganda material.
On July 1, the Hindu published a full-page advertorial paid for and planted by China on the occasion of the centenary anniversary of the Communist Party of China. The paid content appeared on the third page of the paper.
Interestingly, the paid content by China that the Hindu has published appears just like any other routine report for an untrained eye. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that the full-page feature was content paid for by China.
Ironically, the advertorial contains a message by the Chinese Ambassador to India where he talks about how the Communist Party of China has developed itself in the new era and contributed to the global upliftment.
If some looks closely at the right corner of the advertorial, one can see “Advertisement” written in tiny black letters, which can be easily otherwise missed by routine readers of the newspaper.
An advertorial is an advertisement in the form of editorial content. Essentially, it is a method in which an advertisement is placed in a newspaper after paying the publisher, but the advertisement is presented as an editorial column to make people take the advertisement seriously. In the above advertorial, the disclaimer that the content is a paid placement is hidden somewhere in tiny font, making it hard for common readers to know that this is a paid campaign.
Even though it is nothing unethical about publishing advertorials if the necessary disclaimers are in place and the reader is not being fooled into thinking that the advertorial is the publisher’s opinion, however, it becomes problematic when the paid content is placed in a national daily by a country that has very recently been in open conflict against India and still engaged in a territorial dispute along the LAC.
The Hindu is euphoric over CPC’s centenary celebrations
Well, the Hindu’s euphoria over the centenary celebrations of the Communist Party of China is not just limited to an advertorial. The Hindu and its editorial team seem to be extremely excited about CPC completing 100 years of its foundation and has been aggressively reporting on the celebrations in glorifying terms.
In less than two days, two editorials have been published by the Hindu exalting Communist Party of China and its supreme leader Xi Jinping. One article has been published by the Hindu on July 1, written by a Chinese expert Alka Acharya from the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Here is the professor of Chinese Studies from the JNU, extolling the Communist Party of China on its 100th anniversary, that too on the left-wing outlet – The Hindu.
In the below article, Chinese ‘expert’ Alka Acharya hails the Communist Party of China under Xi Jinping for being ‘Qiang Qilai’ – a powerful force and highlights how CPC has fought both external and internal crises and emerged stronger in recent times.
In her piece, written on the occasion of the 100 years celebrations of CPC’s formation, the China ‘expert’ Alka Acharya claimed that China has finally come out of its colonial hangover and dreams about a “resurgent and new” China taking on other global powers under the CPC’s leadership.
It seems that the Hindu had begun the centenary celebrations a week before the actual celebrations began as it has been publishing articles surrounding centenary celebrations since last week.
An article was published on June 26 claiming how the ruling party of China – Communist Party of China has moved away from Deng Xiaoping’s era of collective leadership to Mao-inspired strongman politics under Xi Jinping. The article was authored by Ananth Krishnan.
To put in simple terms, the article explains how the Communist Party of China has evolved strongly since its inception in 1921 till today and goes on to speak about how various leaders from Mao Zedong to Deng Xiaoping till Xi Jinping have been responsible for building the party and protecting the ideology of the Communist party.
However, if one reads the article, one finds that the writer seems to be in awe of these Communist leaders, as he fails to mention the atrocities and human rights violations they have committed in the last few decades to maintain their political stronghold. Maybe, one should not expect such courtesy from the Hindu when it comes to issues related to the People Republic of China.
Not just it, the Hindu has also published a podcast on the occasion of the anniversary to discuss CPC’s rise and its future. Anant Krishnan, the China ‘expert’ associated with the Hindu, spoke to another China ‘expert’ from the United Kingdom, who identified himself as Rana Mitter.
In the podcast, the two China ‘experts’ discussed the evolution of CPC, its political status in China and the world, as well as the party’s future. Further, the experts extensively spoke on the Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping, especially on how he is seeking a greater global role for China even while championing a message of assertive nationalism back home.
In addition to these opinion editorials, podcasts and paid advertorials, the Hindu has been publishing several reports about the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China. At least four articles have been published in the last few days informing their readers how China has been eagerly waiting to celebrate the centenary celebrations of the Communist Party of China.
Well, one cannot know how excited the Chinese population are about this event. Still, one can definitely conclude that the left-wing media outlet Hindu is definitely very thrilled about the celebrations as it is clearly visible in its reportage.
The Hindu and its curious case of Chinese advertorial
Interestingly, this is not the first time that the left-wing media outlet Hindu has provided a golden opportunity for the Communist Party of China to peddle its propaganda on Indian soil. Last year, a few months after the deadly clash between the Indian Army and Chinese troops at the Galwan valley leading to the death of 20 brave Indian soldiers, the Hindu had published a similar advertorial favouring China.
On October 1, 2020, The Hindu had run a full-page advertorial paid by China on the occasion of its national day. In a hurry to make money and further the Communist propaganda, the Hindu had published a Chinese advertorial in an open disregard for the sacrifice of Indian soldiers.
Here is the advertorial that Hindu had published last year in October:
The advertorial contained a message by the Chinese Ambassador to India where he talked about how bravely China had helped the world battle the pandemic that started from Wuhan. Further, after exonerating China of responsibility for the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus and instead of painting them as the saviours, the ambassador talked about the India-China relationship and the recent tension.
Similarly, On April 2, 2020, The Hindu had published another advertorial by China. The advertisement was placed to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations between China and India, even as China continued to betray India on the promises made.
The Chinese Embassy, which paid The Hindu, basically presented the paid content as a “special page” that The Hindu had published on its own on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. The Hindu had done exactly the same in 2018 as well.
At a time when China’s predatory international projects, its atrocities on the Uyghurs and its terrirotial aggression at Ladakh and South China Sea are facing a global backlash, not to mention its open conflict and statements against India in the recent months are being condemned globally, The Hindu’s clear obsession with the Chinese Communist Party seems odd, and questionable.