STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

Mass Media in Xi’s China: Markets Versus Control

Gunjan Singh is Research Assistant at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • September 2016
    Volume: 
    40
    Issue: 
    5
    Commentaries

    Xi Jinping became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in November 2012 and the President of the People’s Republic of China in March 2013. Ever since, under his leadership as the Chinese President, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been progressively tightening its control over the media. In a Communist structure, the media is perceived to be the ‘mouthpiece’ of the Party and is supposed to be used for propaganda. Media is a very essential tool in spreading the government agenda and controlling the public discourse. In fact, the CCP had established the Department of Propaganda as early as in the year 1920.1 As David Bandurski put it, ‘press control is an essential element of political life in China and it is also real and immediate.’2 Xi has taken the cue from his predecessors and has in fact gone past them to impose new controls over an already tame media in the name of strengthening the ideas of ‘peace and stability’ in Chinese society.

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