Chinese censors have gone out of their way to ensure all internet comments on President Xi Jinping’s US visit are positive while state media has united to tout Sino-US relations.
“Support Chairman [Xi], support Wall Street Journal,” a comment under the news of Xi’s interview with the American newspaper on news portal Sina read. Xi, who rarely gives media interviews, domestic or abroad, had provided written replies to questions on the Chinese economy, Beijing’s foreign policies and more.
The Wall Street Journal website remains blocked in mainland China.
“Xi Da Da, China is so lucky to have you,” one said. Others took Xi’s answer on government control of the stock market as a sign of rebound from recent sluggishness. “Tomorrow shares will soar – a thousand shares will rise so much trading will be suspended,” another said.
Meanwhile, state media have painted an upbeat future for bilateral relations between the world’s two largest economies.
The nationalistic Global Times ran a commentary entitled “President Xi Jinping kicks off visit to the US; will open a new era for Sino-US relations.”
The official People’s Daily said Sino-US relations have never been better since Xi took office. Meanwhile, Xinhua news agency said that the majority of American and Chinese netizens have positive views of each other’s country.
However, censored posts on the Twitter-like Weibo platform showed that some did not agree with the way state media portrayed the bilateral relations.
“Because [our] leader is in the US, CCTV’s tone has changed. These past few days, many shows were talking about the US, praising the country like it’s a flower… It’s a stark contrast to past practices of blaming all misfortunes on the American black hand,” a deleted message seen on watchdog site freeweibo.com read.