Chinese media praise Hong Kong activists’ landing on disputed Diaoyu Islands…with censorship
Wednesday afternoon, 14 activists from Hong Kong successfully landed on one of a set of disputed islands, over which Japan, China and Taiwan all claim sovereignty, and planted Chinese flags on the island as a gesture of declaring ownership. Chinese media, including the state broadcaster China Central Television, reported and lauded their patriotic feat, while trying their best efforts to hide the national flag of Taiwan in an iconic photo.
Senkaku Islands, popularly known to the Chinese-speaking population as Diaoyu Islands, are currently controlled by Japan. But both People’s Republic of China and Taiwan (Republic of China) claim sovereignty over the territory, citing historical records back in the 15th century, an unequal treaty signed by China’s Qing Dynasty in 1895 that ceded Diaoyu with the whole island of Taiwan to Japan, and clandestine deal made between Japan and the United States after the defeat of Japan in the World War II that allows Japan to retain ownership.
Because China regards Taiwan as a renegade province, to which the defeated Kuomintang Party fled to after the Chinese Civil War in 1949, and therefore an integral part of China, its official title – Republic of China, are not recognized by China, the United Nations, or countries with which China has formal diplomatic relations, as the result of its political maneuvering. China’s education sector, publishing industry and media are generally not allowed to show the flag of Taiwan to the general public.
In the original photo marking the victory of the activists, two flags of the People’s Republic of China, also known as Red Flag with Five Stars, and one flag of Republic of China, also known as Flag with Blue Sky, White Sun, and a Wholly Red Earth, are shown.
In a CCTV newscast, only one Chinese flag with a small part of the island is shown. The rest of the picture is blurred.
Two Chinese newspapers, Jing Daily and Wuhan Morning Post, splashed headlines across the page to block the view of the Taiwan flag.
West China City Daily
Xiamen Business Paper, a newspaper distributed in Xiamen, Fujian province, even manipulated the flag of Taiwan to make it look like a generic red flag.
Selected comments from Sina Weibo:
喻劭：They are the best at the ostrich mode of self-delusion. Having this kind of energy, they’ve invested it on things they shouldn’t have.
lgglpp: With a shameless government comes a disgraceful mouthpiece.
肖雪慧: Such a picture from the state-run media tells the whole world convincingly: they are capable of falsifying things right under everyone’s nose, let alone falsifying the history.
佛罗里达飘零燕：Diaoyu Islands belong to the Chinese people, be them under the Red Flag with Five Stars, or under Flag with Blue Sky and White Sun. There is only one common enemy. Isn’t it too narrow-minded to do such a kind of thing right now?
西山小宝：Please forgive the peers in the mainland. They are pushing the boundary little by little. They’ve tried their best.
有法治你47：Ever since 1949, they’ve been falsifying history and doing shady business.
迎风种子：They call falsification “decision to use and not to use.” What kind of journalism code of ethics is that?
许康平: They should be praised for not photoshopping it into a Communist Party flag.
急冲人鱼：Can’t really blame the newspapers. If we really want to blame, blame it on our party’s censorship!
LiTong：Are they still obliterating facts in the same way they obliterated exploits of the National army (Kuomintang-led armed forces against Japanese invaders during the Sino-Japanese War) in the history textbooks? Wake up!