Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a major national tabloid in China, retires

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He added that he will continue to serve as a “special commentator” for the tabloid and “continue to contribute to the development of the Global Times, and continue to do my best for the development of the Global Times.” [Chinese Communist Party’s] News and public opinion work. “

“I sincerely thank you all for your continued support and attention to the Global Times, and thank you all for your encouragement and criticism,” Hu Jintao wrote.

He regularly posts written comments and videos to more than 24 million followers on Twitter-like Weibo services. He has also accumulated more than 450,000 followers on Twitter, and his English tweets reflect the nationalist and confrontational nature of the tabloids he edits—and are often quoted by Western media.

Hu has been the chief editor of the Global Times since 2005 and was the first to launch the English version in 2009.

Like all official media in China, it operates in a strict censorship environment that is tightly controlled by the CCP authorities. While other official media took a more cautious tone, the Global Times adopted a combative approach to reporting on international issues, calling for threats and contempt for China from all over the world.

In an interview with CNN in 2019, Hu claimed that this paper best reflects the views of the Chinese people to a global audience.

“Let’s say it out loud,” he said at the time. “You can say that we are radical or nationalistic, but what we reflect is the true sentiment of Chinese society. You can better understand the truth through us. This is our attraction, and this is why Western media like to quote us.”

However, for experts who have been monitoring and analyzing Chinese propaganda machines for a long time, Hu Jintao and the Global Times have not captured the full picture of Chinese public sentiment, nor do they necessarily represent the official position of the government.

“He has always been that kind of instigator, hawk, and he was quoted in [Western] The media represents the national media – even the official views of China,” David Bandulski, director of the China Media Project, told CNN in a previous interview.

“As a media analyst, I saw this and said that now, the Global Times is not so central. They are a derivative of the People’s Daily. The administrative structure is very important in China, in terms of who is better than who.”

Nevertheless, Hu, together with his belligerent and inflammatory remarks, played a huge role in China’s foreign propaganda.

Bandursky wrote on Thursday after Hu announced his retirement: “Whether he is hated or loved, Hu is a voice from the fringes of nationalism in China’s official party-state media, and as a global provocateur who constantly quarrels with Chinese critics. , It is indeed faintly visible.”
Top editors of Chinese state media call for a major crackdown on the Internet
Recently, Hu Zai accused former Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai as the de facto messenger of the Chinese government. The official media conducted extensive censorship of Peng’s mentions, but Hu often mentioned her in his Twitter account (Twitter is blocked in China and cannot be accessed without using professional software).

“Those who suspect that Peng Shuai is being coerced must be so dark in their hearts,” Hu wrote on Twitter, alongside a clip of Peng’s public appearance at a youth tennis match in Beijing. Peng basically disappeared from public view after making the allegations, which caused people to question his whereabouts.

Earlier this month, Hu became the first Chinese national employee to challenge the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) decision to quit China.

“The WTA is intimidating Peng Shuai to support Western attacks on the Chinese system,” he wrote on Twitter. “They are depriving Peng Shuai of freedom of speech and demand that her description of her current situation meet their expectations.”

In an interview with CNN in 2019, Hu surprisingly recalled his experience as a student protester in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. This large-scale democracy movement led by students ended in bloody suppression. Chinese soldiers opened fire on the protesters-causing hundreds of deaths, if not tens of thousands. In today’s China, this is still politically taboo.

“I am a student in the square, and we listen to the Voice of America every day. When we hear the American leader say such things, I feel very encouraged,” he told CNN, thinking that the United States is deploying the same script to incite pros. -Democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019.

Hu Jintao also said that his mission in China’s one-party political system is clear.

“We need to help the government and the people communicate with each other, not against each other,” he said. “Media that confronts the government has no future in China.”

“Some of my critics reflected my disputes with Western media and values,” he added, amid applause from his subordinates standing nearby.

“I want to promote China’s progress and safeguard China’s national interests-what if I become a controversial figure?”

In China, Hu never lacks critics, especially in China’s liberal circles.

But in recent years, as the nationalist sentiment boosted by the Global Times has risen, Hu Jintao has increasingly found himself the target of online attacks by nationalist trolls.

In May of this year, when a Weibo account linked to the Chinese Communist Party took the opportunity to mock India’s handling of the epidemic-by showing pictures of rocket launches in China and photos of Covid victims cremation in India-nonsense Criticize this post.

“I think it is inappropriate for some official Chinese institutions or other influential social media accounts to mock India at the moment,” he wrote, calling on the Chinese people to “hold high the humanitarian banner” and “sympathize with India.” .”

Hu was fiercely attacked by ultranationalists, accusing him of “betraying” China.

On Weibo, Hu’s post announcing his retirement received more than 40,000 “likes” and 6,000 comments in a few hours.

The top commenter wrote: “I hope that after retirement, [you] No longer bound by the editor-in-chief role, you can start firing at full force! “

—— Steven Jiang of CNN contributed to this report.

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