Archive for the Anti-China media bias Category

The firing of the New York Times’ Jill Abramson [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Black propaganda, China, China-bashing, CIA, Fascism, George W. Bush, Julian Assange, National Security Agency / NSA, Nazism, New York Times lie, NSA, Obama, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, State Department, Syria, Ukraine, US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Wall Street, War crimes, Wikileaks on May 28, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By David Walsh
21 May 2014

The firing of Jill Abramson as executive editor of the New York Times May 14 lifted the lid on the US media establishment. Displayed for all to see was the money-grubbing, careerism and egotism that dominates this filthy little world.

The New York Times is a principal mouthpiece of the American corporate elite. It has become one of the most dishonest publications on earth, since its editors and reporters are assigned an impossible task: framing the interests of a predatory, crisis-ridden elite in the vestiges of traditional liberal terminology.

One makes sense of many articles in the Times these days either by reading between the lines and calculating what has been deliberately omitted, or through a process of deciphering that involves reading backward from the obvious ideological slant and a priori conclusions of the author to the details and arguments offered as “unbiased” facts. The unsubtle hand of the State Department, the Pentagon or the CIA — or some combination thereof — can often be perceived in the Times’ news gathering and commentary.

Over the past decade, the Times has defended the neo-colonial operations of the Bush and Obama administrations, while firmly backing the onslaught against constitutional and elementary democratic rights carried out by the American state, with an inevitable degree of handwringing and the occasional caveats. All the time it has cheered on the stock market boom, the parasitism and swindling of the financial aristocracy and the resulting immiseration of wide layers of the US population.

The newspaper’s leading personnel, including Jill Abramson, her predecessor and her successor at the helm of the Times, have all emerged out of these profoundly reactionary social and economic processes.

Controversy surrounds the immediate circumstances of Abramson’s dismissal. Her defenders claim that Abramson recently discovered she was receiving less in pay and benefits than Bill Keller, the executive editor before her, and had “pushed” to remedy that situation. In this scenario, Abramson is a martyr to the cause of equal pay for women.

The Times ’ publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., insisted in an email on May 15 that, in fact, in 2013, Abramson’s “total compensation package was more than 10 percent higher than that of her predecessor, Bill Keller, in his last full year as Executive Editor, which was 2010. It was also higher than his total compensation in any previous year.”

The pay in question, equal or otherwise, put Abramson (and Keller) in the top fraction of income earners in the US. According to Ken Auletta of the New Yorker: “As executive editor, Abramson’s starting salary in 2011 was $475,000, compared to Keller’s salary that year, $559,000. Her salary was raised to $503,000, and—only after she protested—was raised again to $525,000.” In addition to her salary, Abramson was eligible for “bonuses, stock grants, and other long-term incentives.”

Sulzberger, in a statement, asserted that Abramson’s departure had “nothing to do with pay or gender.” Rather, he insisted, the firing resulted from “a series of issues, including arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues.”

According to Auletta’s account, the final straw involved Abramson’s offering a position to Janine Gibson of Britain’s Guardian newspaper as a second managing editor of digital operations at the Times without consulting Dean Baquet, the first managing editor and now Abramson’s successor.

Whatever the circumstances, Abramson’s firing instantly became an immense and powerfully felt issue for certain small circles in the US.

Her dismissal was followed by much lamentation and gnashing of teeth by feminist and left-liberal critics of the move. Was she fired “because she was a woman?” The “ugliness of being a woman boss” or “a woman leader” was on certain minds. “We’re back to square one” as far as women in the upper echelons of journalism are concerned, suggested another commentator.

Frida Ghitis, writing at CNN.com, observed, “You can draw your own conclusions about why Jill Abramson was fired, but as we look at the history of her tenure as executive editor of The New York Times, the world’s most prestigious and influential newspaper, and learn details about how it came to an end, women everywhere are shaking their heads.”

Really? Women everywhere were shaking their heads?

“The departure of Jill Abramson,” commented Rebecca Traister of the New Republic, “is a bigger and far grimmer story about a uniquely powerful woman, whose rise and whose firing will now become another depressingly representative chapter in the story of women’s terribly slow march toward social, professional and economic parity.”

Michelle Goldberg, of the Nation, headlined her comment, “Jill Abramson was right,” although the reader discovers that Abramson was “right,” according to Goldberg, about relatively trivial internal issues at the Times. The Nation columnist takes note of the claim that Abramson was fired for being “pushy,” and goes on: “The Times denies this, but unless it’s disproven, women across the country have reason to find it chilling.”

Again, which women?

At the Progressive, Ruth Conniff assured us in the headline of her comment that the “NY Times Firing of Abramson Hurts Women.” She concluded the piece by arguing that the manner of Abramson’s firing by the Times is “not good for women as a group.”

How so? Is there the slightest proof that the employment of a female executive editor by the New York Times, for somewhere between $525,000 and one million dollars a year (or more), had the slightest impact on the conditions of women “as a group”?

On the contrary, there is considerable evidence that the gap between the Abramsons and others in her income group, on the one hand, and the vast majority of women, on the other, is growing ever wider…

…According to a review in the New York Review of Books, Alison Wolf in The Women at the Top, a study of upper middle class “professional women” across the globe, argues that “couples at the top lead very different lives, not only from the lower classes, but from previous generations. Within the households, husbands and wives are virtually interchangeable. Both tend to be high earners, and both tend to be equally competent at childcare and household tasks. … They now have more in common with each other than either has with members of their own sex in the lower classes.”

Of course, upper middle class members of both sexes have always had “more in common” with each other than with anyone in the “lower classes,” but the exacerbation of this situation is clearly a noteworthy social phenomenon, with definite political and ideological implications.

In the comments from many of Abramson’s defenders, one hears the angry collective voice of this layer of well-heeled women whose considerable gains have only made it more selfish, more rapacious and more envious of the male-dominated corporate and financial aristocracy to whose exalted realm it aspires. For this social grouping, the Times ’ executive editor was “a role model and beacon of hope,” in the words of Barbara Cochran, the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism.

This stratum of well-paid professional women is also one of the key constituencies of the pseudo-left, and helps explain the obsession of groups such as the International Socialist Organization (ISO) with gender and identity politics. A great deal of wealth and privilege is at stake in the struggle for “gender parity” in journalism, academia, unions, business and government.

Even a scoundrel, of course, can be the victim of an undemocratic attack and worthy of defense. But there is nothing progressive that attaches itself to Abramson’s case, nothing that elicits sympathy. Nor is there anything exceptional in her entire career — she has not been identified even by her defenders with any exposé or journalistic coup. To be blunt, she is a journalistic and intellectual zero.

The entire sordid affair at the Times is about money, with perhaps the added element of ferocious personal ambition and ego. Abramson is the product of right-wing feminism, the fitting progeny of Gloria Steinem and Margaret Thatcher…

As for the editorial content and reporting of the New York Times, Abramson’s reign marked the further integration of the newspaper into the misinformation apparatus of the White House, Defense Department and various intelligence agencies.

What was the record of the Times during her two years and eight months as executive editor? A brief recapitulation would have to include the newspaper’s vociferous backing for economic and military aggression against Iran, Syria and China; its defense of drone murder and the military lockdown of Boston; its contributions to the smear campaigns against Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden; its support for the privatization of Medicare, defense of Obamacare and continued campaign against “overtesting” (i.e., its indefatigable support for reducing health care costs at the expense of the working class population); and, most recently, the Times ’ especially vile cover-up of the fascist-led coup in Ukraine, its publication of fake photos supposedly claiming to prove Russian intervention in the eastern part of the country and its suppression of ultra-right atrocities in Odessa and elsewhere.

A record to be proud of … ! Of course Abramson wasn’t fired for any of this, no portion of which will hinder her from finding a new lucrative source of income.

She belongs to the wealthy, anti-democratic media and political establishment in the US, which has swung dramatically to the right in recent decades. The distasteful and unseemly squabble between Abramson, Baquet, Sulzberger and the rest will serve a useful purpose to the extent that it further discredits the state-run propaganda organ that the Times has become.

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/05/21/abra-m21.html

“US pushes cyber-war confrontation with China” – Justice Department’s absurd indictment of PLA officers [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Black propaganda, Capitalist media double standard, China, China-bashing, China-US relations, Corporate Media Critique, Internet Global Hegemony, Media smear campaign, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Pentagon, PLA, Psychological warfare, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on May 20, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Patrick Martin
20 May 2014

A federal grand jury has indicted five officers of the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army on computer hacking, economic espionage and other charges, officials of the US Department of Justice announced at a press conference Monday morning.

The indictment is unprecedented under international law, as it aims to criminalize actions allegedly carried out not by individual hackers, or “rogue” elements, but by serving officers in the armed forces of a major country. It is calculated to provoke a confrontation between the US and Chinese governments.

“These represent the first ever charges against known state actors for infiltrating US commercial targets by cyber means,” Attorney General Eric Holder said at the press briefing, emphasizing that the Obama administration was undertaking a major escalation in its anti-China policy. “The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case is significant and demands an aggressive response.”

The five men, named as Wang Dong, Sun Kailiang, Wen Xinyu, Huang Zhenyu, and Gu Chunhui, are said to be officers in Unit 61398 of the Third Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, based in Shanghai. Each faces 31 counts of computer and economic crimes. While none is in US custody, the charges would carry lengthy prison sentences.

The alleged targets of the hacking include Westinghouse Electric Co., United States Steel, Alcoa Inc., Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI), U.S. subsidiaries of SolarWorld AG, and the United Steel Workers union, which represents some workers at those companies.

Westinghouse is the major US builder of nuclear power plants, and built four such facilities in China in 2010-2011. The other companies entered into production agreements with Chinese companies during that time, or were engaged in trade litigation, as was the USW. The Chinese officers supposedly used cyber-warfare techniques to gain access to internal e-mails and other confidential materials at all six organizations.

The indictment is an act of monumental cynicism. The revelations of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, which began almost exactly one year ago, have demonstrated that the US government is by far the world’s largest “hacker,” with tens of thousands of employees and tens of billions in resources devoted to invading computer systems all over the world and stealing e-mails, text messages, communications metadata, address books and every other form of electronic data.

The US government collects the content of the voice, text and e-mail communications of nearly everyone on the planet. It has engineered back-door entry into the business activities of Internet service providers and e-mail providers like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to bypass their security and encryption and conduct illegal surveillance of their customers. It has broken into corporate servers, either electronically or physically, to install monitoring devices.

The NSA particularly targets for surveillance strategic companies like Huawei, the Chinese manufacturer of servers and routers, aiming to use Huawei machines as a vehicle for spying on the company’s customers, corporations and governments throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

The US television networks gave enormous play to the indictments in their Monday evening broadcasts, without a hint of the grotesque contradictions in the US government action. One can only imagine the reaction in Washington, and in the American media, if China were to indict NSA director Keith Alexander, who recently retired, or his successor Admiral Michael Rogers, on charges of espionage, hacking and information theft…

Excerpted; full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/05/20/usch-m20.html
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Related Xinhua articles:

China strongly opposes U.S. indictment against Chinese military personnel – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-05/20/c_133347615.htm

China publishes latest data of U.S. cyber attack – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-05/20/c_126520552.htm

China suspends cyber working group activities with U.S. to protest cyber theft indictment – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-05/20/c_126520553.htm

Vietnam’s anti-China riots ‘hurt its image’ [People’s Daily]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, Energy, Hong Kong, Japan, Labor, south Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam on May 15, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Li XIAOKUN and ZHANG YUNBI (China Daily)

May 15, 2014

Mobs chanting anti-Chinese slogans have set at least 15 foreign factories on fire in southern Vietnam.

An analyst said the incidents were among the country’s most serious riots and would tarnish its image as an investment and tourist destination.

The rioting started late on Tuesday when about 19,000 workers protested at a Singapore-run industrial park and others nearby in Binh Duong province, 1,120 km south of Hanoi, the capital.

Authorities said rioting and looting forced the closure of 1,000 factories, but no casualties were confirmed. About 500 people were arrested.

The incidents came after anti-China street protests over the weekend following Beijing’s recent deployment of an oil drilling rig in its territorial waters in the South China Sea, which are also claimed by Vietnam.

In a phone conversation with his Indonesian counterpart on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China wanted Vietnam to calm the situation.

“China’s stance of protecting its legal sovereign rights is firm, clear and will not change,” he said.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing had lodged protests with the Vietnamese ambassador, asking the Vietnamese “to immediately take effective steps to stop and punish these crimes, and to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Vietnam.”

Hua said Hanoi had deliberately escalated tensions by allowing its vessels to ram Chinese boats around the rig on 169 occasions on Tuesday and by arranging for reporters to cover the process.

“This was all done for show in an attempt to present a false picture and deceive the public,” she said.

Li Jinming, a Xiamen University professor of maritime law and South China Sea studies, said, “Vietnam is provoking China on land and sea in a high-stakes gamble.”

Tran Van Nam, deputy head of the province’s people’s committee, was quoted by VnExpress as saying that the protests were initially peaceful but had been hijacked by extremists who incited people to break into the factories.

Hundreds of other factories were vandalized or looted, while some security guards and technicians were assaulted, the official said.

He said people attacked factories they believed were run by companies from the Chinese mainland, but some were run by people from Taiwan, Japan or South Korea.

On Wednesday morning, nearly all the factories in the area were closed and riot police had been deployed.

Global exporter Li & Fung, which supplies retailers such as Kohl’s Corp and Wal-Mart Stores with clothing, toys and other products, said it had suspended production in Vietnam.

Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, a Taiwan manufacturer with headquarters in Hong Kong, also suspended production. It makes footwear for firms including Nike and Adidas.

Vietnamese Internet users have questioned the motivation and impact of the rioting.

“Young people should be more cautious and avoid being used by bad people. The (foreign) companies have brought jobs — what is wrong with them?” a netizen nicknamed muoihcm commented in the VnExpress report.

The Vietnamese government gave rare permission for the weekend protests, which were enthusiastically covered by state media.

Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Research Center for Chinese Borderland History and Geography at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “It is high-profile propaganda for the Vietnamese authorities and media regarding the collision of ships in the South China Sea that enraged public opinion and resulted in the riots.

“The incident will not only harm relations with China but also endanger Vietnam’s international image, especially as an investment and tourist destination.”

Wang Jian and Xinhua contributed to this story.

Article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/8627942.html

People’s Daily Journalists address provocative New York Times report [People’s Daily]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, Corporate Media Critique, New York Times lie, South China Sea on April 30, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

People’s Daily Online

April 21, 2014

“On April 15 the New York Times published a report headed “China’s Actions in Hunt for Jet Are Seen as Hurting as much as Helping”. The provocative report suggested that China’s efforts were serving only to distract and delay the search effort; it alleged that in the first week of the search China released satellite photographs that misdirected the search to the wrong area of the South China Sea, then stated that a false signal detected by the Chinese search vessel has wasted further time in the search for the missing plane.

Responding to the report, senior journalists Wen Xian and Ding Xiaosi of the People’s Daily North American office attempted to contact the New York Times…

Excerpted; full article link: http://english.people.com.cn/98649/8604329.html

Commentary: Better GDP growth beats “China Collapse” theory [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, Economy, Employment on April 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, April 17 (Xinhua) — Official data show that China’s GDP grew 7.4 percent year on year in the first quarter, 0.3 percentage point lower than the pace in the previous three months.

No sooner did Chinese statistical authorities release the figures than some merchants of doom pointed at the slowdown and whipped up a new round of gloom-mongering over the future of the world’s second largest economy.

But their claims that China’s economic impetus is fizzling out and that the Asian giant is headed for an economic hard-landing [sic] are baseless and misleading.

For starters, despite heavy downward pressure, China’s growth pace in the first quarter still exceeds the 7.3-percent market estimation and belongs to the top echelon across the world.

Factoring in Beijing’s strong-willed and game-changing endeavors in economic restructuring, the 7.4-percent rate remains within the reasonable range.

After all, it is natural for an economy to decelerate during structural adjustment, and the results of a better-structured economy and a more balanced growth pattern will make the downtick worthwhile.

As a matter of fact, an overwhelming majority of economic observers and pundits worldwide remain sanguine in China’s economy. Their optimism is shrewd and well-founded.

China’s efforts to boost domestic consumption have begun to pay off. As a manifestation of the increasingly large role of consumption spending, the household final consumption expenditure accounted for 64.9 percent of GDP in the first quarter.

In another sign of the great growth potential of the Chinese economy, official figures show that in the first three months traditional industries such as steel and cement were outpaced by high-tech industries, which constitute a pillar of future growth with mounting significance.

Meanwhile, with business activity picking up, China’s endogenous power of economic growth has gradually recovered. Employment is also improving, and foreign trade is making a turn for the better as the recovery [sic] of European and U.S. economies takes root.

After more than three decades of rapid economic growth, the Chinese government and public have both realized that pursuing growth at all costs is not good at all.

What China really needs is not an economy expanding at a blistering pace but one that grows in a sustainable and healthy manner at a reasonable and steady speed. And China is getting just that…

-Edited by Zuo Shou-

Full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-04/17/c_133269741.htm

Also see related article: “China economy collapse theory fear-mongering: economist” [Xinhua] — http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-04/21/c_133279125.htm

Edward Snowden exposes NSA spying against Chinese telecom firm Huawei [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-bashing, Corporate Media Critique, Media cover-up, Media smear campaign, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on March 26, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Tom Carter
24 March 2014

Documents released by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden and published in the New York Times over the weekend confirm that the US spy agency has been engaged for years in a campaign of industrial espionage against Huawei, the giant Chinese telecommunications firm. The documents expose a broad range of espionage activities, from spying on company executives to creating “back doors” into the company’s servers, routers and switches.

The documents, which date from 2010, reveal that a major spying operation against Huawei had been underway since at least 2007 under the codename “Shotgiant.” While the Times reported the existence of the program and published some of the PowerPoint slides provided by Snowden, the Times has “withheld technical details of the operation at the request of the Obama administration, which cited national security concerns.” The “newspaper of record” has once again bowed to the demands of the military-intelligence apparatus…

…Notes accompanying another slide include a list of “what we are trying to accomplish.” One of the items on this list is to “[d]etermine if Huawei is doing SIGINT [signals intelligence, spying] for PRC [China].” In other words, the NSA’s own internal documents make clear that the NSA does not have any evidence that Huawei is engaged in the conduct for which American political functionaries routinely denounce the company…

Full article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/24/huaw-m24.html

Commentary: China’s economy, to crash or just bashed? [Xinhua]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, BBC bias, distortions and lies, China, China-bashing, Economy, Reform and opening up on March 7, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Xinhua writer Chen Siwu

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — China seems to have little to cheer about in recent weeks, from persistent toxic smog to an economic slowdown, according to recent reports by the Western media.

China has no excuse for the environmental crisis, but the hype about the country’s current economic slowdown requires reconsideration.

Among the gloomy reports by Western media is a film by Robert Peston, How China Fooled the World, carried by the British broadcaster BBC on its website.

Peston warns of a “serious risk of calamitous crash” of the Chinese economy, saying China could be in trouble and the third wave of the global financial crisis is looming large.

Such a conclusion is sensational, but not fresh.

Since China launched its reform and opening up drive, Western observers have foreseen the so-called “collapse” of China many times, but none have turned out to be genuine prophets.

The latest cry about China’s economy is like a fortune-teller in the street who talks nonsense, with predictions more resembling fictional thrillers than real-life previews.

What makes such predictions false is that they oversimplify China’s economy into one or a few numbers and then exaggerate them.

The number cited most by bearish analysts is 7.7 percent — last year’s growth, which tied with that of 2012 for the weakest since 1999.

So what?

Since China began posting GDP data in 1978, the country’s annual economic growth has dropped below 6 percent three times, below 8 percent nine times, below 9 percent 12 times, and below 10 percent 19 times.

To the woe of those passive observers, China’s economy never collapsed in previous slowdowns…

Excerpted; full article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-02/27/c_133148003.htm

See also related article — “Commentary: Doomsday prophets misread Chinese economy” [Xinhua] – http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2014-02/26/c_133144690.htm