Monday, July 23, 2012

Propaganda at the Indian Borders

A few days ago, I mentioned  Li Changchun on this blog.
Li is no. 5 in the Standing Committee of the Politburo of CCP. He is in charge of the Propaganda. One of his objectives is to 're-popularize Chinese-style Marxism'. As Chairman of the CPC Central Guidance Commission for Building Spiritual Civilization, Li is also de facto responsible for the Party's image and media relations.
The functions of the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party under the responsibility of Li Changchun are:
  1. directing the propaganda about Marxism;
  2. guiding the public opinion;
  3. directing the production of culture products;
  4. planning overall ideological and political work;
  5. managing leadership personnel in the propaganda area;
  6. creating propaganda policies and coordinating propaganda organizations;
  7. providing public opinion intelligence to Party leadership;
  8. leading cultural system reform, including the publication and broadcasting industries.  
In other words, the censure of whatever is not in line with the Party's 'Marxist' ideology.
Li Changchun is the second member of the all-powerful Standing Committee of the Politburo of the CCP to visit Tibet in one year (Vice President Xi Jinping visited in July last year).
Xinhua reported: "A senior official of the Communist Party of China has stressed ethnic unity and cultural development in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as building an 'ideological basis' for anti-secession and stability maintenance".
These days China has two obsessions: stability and loyalty to the Party.
To give an example, General Guo Boxiong, Politburo member and Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission, recently stated that the armed forces “must resolutely follow the Party’s command and remain absolutely loyal and reliable.” 
He made these remarks at the University of National Defense, urging to the University's authorities to increase the ideological education as the Party should keep the absolute leadership on the armed forces. 
The senior general said that this will “ensure that the armed forces, ideologically, politically, and in action maintain consistency with the Central Military Commission and resolutely follow the command of the Party Central Committee, the Central Military Commission, and Chairman Hu.” He also spoke of stability.
The fact that the leadership stresses so much on these two issues, tends to  prove that the Party is facing a serious problem here.
Li Changchun near the Indian border
Li's five-day visit to Tibet should be seen in this perspective.
While visiting the Potala Palace (was he told that it is the residence of the Dalai Lamas?), Li spoke of the importance of "safeguarding national unification and ethnic unity".
Again, when he went to the Jokhang Cathedral, Li encouraged the monks to be patriotic and devout and make contributions 'to ethnic unity and the ethnic cultural development'.

Patriotic has perhaps another meaning for the Tibetan monks who are still longing of the return of the Dalai Lama.
Li said that "Ethnic unity, social harmony and stability is the lifeline for Tibet", as the result the "ethnic unity education and the anti-separatism battle should be deepened".

This is ominous.
As China's Propaganda Boss, he had to see the headquarters of the
Tibet Daily, the local mouthpiece of the Party. He asked the staff to "introduce a real and changing Tibet to the whole world."
Well, that it not easy, when Tibet is still close to foreign tourists.
If Tibet is 'changing' for the best, why not open to all to see these changes?
But perhaps, more importantly for India, Li Changchun was the second member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo to visit 'Southern Tibet' and particularly Nyingchi (Tibetan: Nyingtri) Prefecture, north  of the McMahon Line. He had a 'talk' with local villagers in Lunang town (known as the  Switzerland of Tibet), near the Yarlung Tsangpo (Brahmaputra) gorges.
During his last-year visit to the same area,  Vice-President Xi Jinping had described Tibet “as an important national security screen for the country”.
Two members of the Standing Committee visiting the border areas in one year! It is a premiere. India should carefully watch.

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