Andrey Krushinsky: The year 2001 through the eyes of China

In the reviews of the most important events 2001, the Chinese mass media did not mark either the historic Russian-Chinese treaty on friendly relations, friendship, and collaboration or the establishment of the Shanghai Organization for Cooperation. One of the peculiarities of the new “relaxedness” of the Chinese mass media in the presentation of news is their bent for different kinds of ratings and opinion polls. I have read six reviews of the past year at the end of December and in the beginning of January. Xinhua, the official news agency of China, published lists of the ten major events of the year both of the international and Chinese scales, respectively. The People’s Daily published its own variants of ten major events in the country and in the world. The editors-in-chiefs of 14 newspapers selected the 14 most important events for the Chinese economy; finally, the Hong Kong newspaper The China Morning Post preferred to conduct an opinion poll in Beijing to find out what the people thought on the subject.

In total, there are 30 events and facts on those lists. They are basically listed in the chronological order and not according to the extent of their relevance. The first place is unconditionally taken by China’s membership in the World Trade Organization, as this was mentioned on all six lists, both about the international, domestic, economic events and even in the opinion poll. China’s achievement of winning the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games and the unofficial summit of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation countries were mentioned four times. The fact of the participation of the Chinese team in the final match of the world football championship and the celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the Communist Party of China gained three scores each (together with Jiang Zemin’s speech, who substantiated the theory about the three representations and a right for the representatives of the growing business class to join the Communist Party of China). Thirteen facts more are mentioned twice each on the lists and eleven events were mentioned once. The transformation of the Organization of the African Unity into the African Union was among them as well as the disastrous earthquake in India, the assassination of the Nepal king, governmental awards given to a group of the Chinese scientists, the decree of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on the formation of the ethical norms for the population of the country, Universiada in Beijing, the self-immolation of five followers of the Falun Gong sect on the Tiananmen square in Beijing, the division of the Chinese company Telecom into southern and northern branches, and others.

Michael Jen-siu, the author of the opinion poll among the Chinese people that was published in the South China Morning Post said the following on the subject: “The moral of all these events is the same: China had a crowning year that improved its standing in the world.” Jen-Siu said that the Chinese ignored such big events as the incident with the American spy plane that took place on April 1 as well as the arrests and executions of corrupt senior officials.

It was a surprise for Russia that the Chinese did not mention the signing of the Russian-Chinese treaty on friendly relations and cooperation. The establishment of the Shanghai Organization of Cooperation was also ignored. Russia was mentioned on the Chinese lists only once: in connection with the downing of the Mir space station into the Pacific ocean. Therefore, the things that are absent in China's ratings are more important to Russia than those that are mentioned.

Andrey Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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