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The control of the media in the People's Republic of China [Elektronische Ressource] / Nicolai Volland

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628 pages
THE CONTROL OF THE MEDIA IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA INAUGURALDISSERTATION ZUR ERLANGUNG DES DOKTORGRADES VORGELEGT DER PHILOSOPHISCHEN FAKULTÄT DER UNIVERSITÄT HEIDELBERG HAUPTREFERENT: PROF. DR. RUDOLF G. WAGNER ZWEITGUTACHTERIN: PD DR. BARBARA MITTLER NICOLAI VOLLAND DEZEMBER 2003 ii THE CONTROL OF THE MEDIA IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA iii iv CONTENTS List of Charts, Tables, and Illustrations vii Acknowledgements ix Abbreviations xi Introduction 1 1 A Functional Approach to the Chinese Media 13 2 The Yan’an Laboratory: The Formation of the CCP’s Media Concept73 3 Selection, Imagination, Transnational Flows: The Media Concept and the Legacy of Traditional Political Culture 131 4 The Mechanics of Media Control 189 5 Books for New China: Xinhua shudian and the Transformation of Chinese Book Publishing 243 6 The Paper, the Party, and the People: Wenhuibao, Spring 1957 293 7 Bombard the Headquarters: The Red Guard Press of the Cultural Revolution 395 8 No Taboos for Reading: Dushu and the Thought Liberation Movement 441 9 Great Walls of Soap: Chinese Television in the Era of Marketization 493 10 China.com: Media Control and the Internet 531 Conclusion 573 Works Cited 583 v vi CHARTS Chart 1.1 CCP CC Working Bodies, 1937-1945 44 Chart 1.
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THE CONTROL OF THE MEDIA
IN THE
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA









INAUGURALDISSERTATION
ZUR ERLANGUNG DES DOKTORGRADES
VORGELEGT DER
PHILOSOPHISCHEN FAKULTÄT
DER UNIVERSITÄT HEIDELBERG


HAUPTREFERENT: PROF. DR. RUDOLF G. WAGNER
ZWEITGUTACHTERIN: PD DR. BARBARA MITTLER


NICOLAI VOLLAND

DEZEMBER 2003 ii







THE CONTROL OF THE MEDIA
IN THE
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
iii








iv
CONTENTS



List of Charts, Tables, and Illustrations vii

Acknowledgements ix

Abbreviations xi


Introduction 1

1 A Functional Approach to the Chinese Media 13

2 The Yan’an Laboratory: The Formation of the CCP’s Media Concept73

3 Selection, Imagination, Transnational Flows: The Media Concept
and the Legacy of Traditional Political Culture 131

4 The Mechanics of Media Control 189

5 Books for New China: Xinhua shudian and the Transformation
of Chinese Book Publishing 243

6 The Paper, the Party, and the People: Wenhuibao, Spring 1957 293

7 Bombard the Headquarters: The Red Guard Press
of the Cultural Revolution 395

8 No Taboos for Reading: Dushu and
the Thought Liberation Movement 441

9 Great Walls of Soap: Chinese Television in the Era of Marketization 493

10 China.com: Media Control and the Internet 531

Conclusion 573

Works Cited 583



v vi
CHARTS

Chart 1.1 CCP CC Working Bodies, 1937-1945 44
Chart 1.2 Leading Personnel of CCP Propaganda Institutions,
1937-1943 47
Chart 1.3 Organizational Makeup of the CCP PD after 1994 53
Chart 1.4a-b Media Terminology in English and Chinese 56
Chart 1.5 Bureaus and Subdivisions of the PD
(Nov. 1951-late 1954) 63

Chart 2.1 Timeline forthe JFRB Reshuffle 94

Chart 4.1 The Information Pyramid 218

Chart 5.1 The Publishing Committee 263
Chart 5.2 Keynote Speakers of the 1949 Xinhua Conference 271
Chart 5.3 Leadership of the General Publication Administration 272

Chart 10.1 Number of Internet Users in the PRC 537
Chart 10.2 Internet Filtering in China and Saudi-Arabia 565


TABLES

Table 6.1 Newspaper Coverage of the Xinhua May 25 Report 368

Table 10.1 Number of Registered .cn Websites 565


ILLUSTRATIONS

Ill. 1.1 “Turn Philosophy into a Sharp Weapon!” 69

Ill. 6.1 “I am important!” 343
Ill. 6.2-4Front page layout of JFRB, RMRB, and WHB,
June 26, 1957 365

Ill. 7.1a-c Layout of Jinggangshan, RMRB, and Xinwen zhanbao 403
Ill. 7.2 The Beach Party 421
Ill. 7.3 “Long Live the Revolutionary Wall Posters!” 427

Ill. 10.1 ICP Permits of Sina.com 544
vii viii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


It has taken over two years of intensive, sometimes feverish work to complete
the present thesis. Two years appear both short and long. Short, because I often did
not find time to address many of the issues that I came over in the course of research;
all too often I had to avert my eyes with regret from allure of new and exciting aspects
so as to keep to the mainstay of my argument. Too short also to delve even deeper
into the intricacies of Chinese media politics, to vie for more breadth and depth of the
arguments presented here. All the same, two years must have been a very long time,
if measured by the amazing amount of debt that has accumulated while I was at work.
First of all, I owe deep gratitude to Rudolf G. Wagner. It was he who first
brought to my attention the topic of the Chinese media, who lured me away from
those provinces of the field of Chinese studies I had set my heart on. Once I had
given in and embarked on a journey that turned out be one of blood, sweat and tears,
he kept me going with a constant stream of advice and bursts of ideas, at times more
than I could accommodate (not to speak of hundreds of forwarded emails). His
relentlessly critical mind kept to ask questions and forced me time and again to
rethink my conclusions, to sharpen my lines of reasoning, and to move to ever higher
planes of argument. In the end, it was he who kept me moving on, always at a path
faster than I would have settled for on my own, and who made sure that I would keep
as close as possible to this utopian goal: two years (give of take four months).
Barbara Mittler happily agreed to shoulder the burden of co-supervising this
project. With admirable patience she fought through hundreds of pages of manuscript,
providing me with even more provocative questions and insightful comments that
were both a pleasure and a nightmare, as it was hardly possible to follow up on each
and every of her thoughtful hints. Barbara’s optimism and energy helped me looking
ahead when I seemed to have got lost on my travel.
It has been an extraordinary experience to work and do research at one of the
finest academic institutions I have ever seen, the Institute of Chinese Studies at
Heidelberg University. The stimulating intellectual environment gave me access to
scholars and students of Chinese studies; the interaction with them continually
broadened my horizon and set my view on ever new topics and issues. The library of
the institute has become my home for several years, making possible in the first
place the research for this study, through the amazing scope of the collection and the
ease of access.
It was at the Institute that I met numerous colleagues and friends who kept me
alive with their optimism and support; Many of them made a direct impact on this
study: Mechthild Adameit, Marc Buchmüller, Christian Göbel, Jenny Gross, Lena
Henningsen, and Thomas Kampen all read individual chapters and provided me with
a wealth of suggestions. Many more people have contributed to this thesis; Nancy
Hearst and Andreas Seifert have made available to me crucial sources on which
entire sections of this study are based. Lothar Wagner and Cathy Yeh have helped
me to understand the subtleties of both Qing wenyanwen and Beijing dialect. Much
gratitude belongs to scores of others whom I have failed to mention here, but whose
help has been indispensable for my project. Finally, in this technology-dependent age,
my greatest appreciation goes to Matz Arnold, Sven Eigler, and Olli Radtke for their
assistance in more than a few technical questions and their enormous patience with
my ignorance.
ixMany individuals in China, friends, colleagues, and friendly shangbei 上辈
have shared their time and experience with me and provided me with insights that
have greatly enhanced my understanding of the way the Chinese media work. For
reasons all too obvious, I will refrain from naming all of them; nevertheless I hope to
use this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation for their help.
Work on this thesis has been supported by a grant of the Graduiertenkolleg
“Religion und Normativität” that allowed me to concentrate on my works for two full
years, and enabled me to do fieldwork in China in fall 2002 as well as research at the
libraries of Columbia and Harvard universities. I have profited greatly from the
discussions in this interdisciplinary forum, where I have been able to outline my ideas.
Last but not least, I want to thank my parents who have made possible my
studies in the first place.
The list of debts accumulated in the long and short span of two years is much
too long to be addressed here to the extent it rightly deserves; all this debt
notwithstanding, “I reserve for myself the privilege of being responsible for all the
errors” that remain, “as is customary and correct.”
x