"The propaganda chief of the Chinese Communist Party has lobbied the ABC on its coverage of Tibet, saying he wants the Chinese Government's views to be fully represented in ABC reports. The meeting between Li Changchun and ABC managing director Mark Scott came at a time when the ABC is seeking Beijing's permission to broadcast ABC news directly into China... Beijing dislikes the tone of Western media reports it believes wrongly portray Tibetans as noble freedom fighters and China, which invaded Tibet in 1950, as cruel colonisers." (China requests Tibet balance, Cameron Stewart, The Australian, 25/3/09)
Communist Party propaganda chief lobbying the ABC? These guys obviously have a lot to learn. This kind of direct intervention by Chinese government officials is bound to be misconstrued by the chattering classes here as meddling in Australia's internal affairs.
A few tips for Li Changchun:-
If you want the likes of Scotty eating out of your hand, it is imperative that you operate at one remove through your very own domestic lobby. You could call it, say, the Australia/China & Australian Chinese Affairs Council (ACACAC). Its job will be to badger the Australian mainstream media should any wayward member of same dare look sideways, on air or in print, at your extraordinarily celestial and vibrant nation.
The magic word is 'balance'. Should a rogue documentary or opinion piece or letter on Tibet inadvertently find its way onto Australian television or into the press, rally your cyber-sleeper cells, hit the phones, and demand as one that the offending item be followed the very next day by one of your own. Pretty soon, the magical phenomenon of anticipatory compliance* will kick in, and instead of you urging them for a right of reply, they'll be asking you - in advance - to supply an antidote. Why, eventually (and this is sooo beautiful), they'll even be thinking twice before running anything at all!
With regard to the language of news reports, you've got to lay down, and insist on, a few ground rules. These should be as follows:-
1) Any Tibetan who dares look sideways at a member of the Chinese Defense Forces (CDF) or at any of your brethren engaged in the holy redemption of... of what? You really need another name entirely for Tibet, an ancient Chinese name that suggests that once, many many moons ago, it was actually Chinese, but, unfortunately, somehow dropped off the national radar. I'm sure you can come up with some old codswallop in some ancient tome that'll do the trick. Shit, that's it! You can call it Codswallop! Pure genius! Anyway, back to your swivel-eyed Tibetan. He's a terrorist, obviously, but you may have to put up with him being labelled a 'militant' or a 'Buddhist extremist' - as opposed to those Tibetans who happily lie down and let you walk all over them or even dob in their swivel-eyed brothers. No, for them 'moderate' is surely the word of choice.
2) That cunning old fox the Dalai Lama, of course, is behind the swivel-eyed ones. Although his merry mien has so far managed to fool the world (but not, of course, your good self), he should be framed as a 'terrorist mastermind' hellbent on wiping China off the map. And, as those of us in the know know, terrorist masterminds, ipso facto, cannot be peace partners.
3) Tibet - or Codswallop - must never be described as 'occupied' - for obvious reasons. 'Disputed' yes, you can at a pinch let that one pass, but never, ever, 'occupied'.
4) Finally, and you must remember this, whenever the situation flares up in the disputed territory of Codswallop, you must ensure that any account of same always begin with bug-eyed Buddhist terrorists casting the first stone, and that such an apocalyptic event is always framed as an existential threat, the first phase of a push to drive the Chinese people into the sea. Likewise, any response by your troops (the second most moral in the world) must be framed as vegetarian self defense.
I do hope these tips have been helpful. Should you have any further enquiries, I can put you in touch with experts.
[*See my 28/4/08 post of the same name.]