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LinkAsia | Nov 9
In the wake of President Obama's re-election, South Korean officials see an opportunity for strengthened US ties in the face of a rising China. Bro...
They may have been paying attention to our election, but the big story for Chinese is the meeting to choose a new head of the Communist Party and the tiny number of people who will help him rule the country. The propaganda machine has been in overdrive to pump out pro-party message. But social media users aren't impressed. Here's our Beijing contributor, Nicole Sy.
It is the week of the country's once-in-a-decade leadership transition in China and the mood on microblogging site Weibo, China's version of Twitter, is a mixture of paranoia with a little bit of hope.
The Chinese Communist Party is taking extra measures to ramp up security in the capital and providing a few popular perks to prevent any demonstration of unhappiness. And the internet community is keenly aware of this.
One Writer, Zheng Yuanjie posts:
"A Xinhua News article titled 'Beijing Puts All Effort into a 'Warm' Opening of the 18th National Party Congress' wrote that the city will supply heating on November 15, two weeks earlier than last year's, to make people feel warm before the 18th National Party Congress."
Cynically, he added: "Taxpayers will pay 8 million yuan for this."
While the Economic Observer, a popular Chinese newsmagazine reports:
"Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has issued a notice that all the construction sites within the Fourth Ring Road in Beijing should stop underground excavation and construction in case of accidents from November 7th until the closing of the 18th National Party Congress."
A post by Mo Guanwei warns, "To the foreign media, during the 18th Party Congress, the Communist Party will control the voice of the foreign media."
While others highlight the desire for positive change. In a post that has since been deleted, one user writes, "In the past 10 years, economic development is still doing well, but political reform and social reform have yet to make a mark. Some aspects have even regressed, (I am) looking forward to the 18th National Party Congress where hopefully these fields will achieve a breakthrough."
Four days before the leadership transition took place; Beijing was doused by its coldest and wettest storm in six decades. The first snow of the season and a month earlier than last year's, netizens were quick to predict what the Party's response would be to the snow.
One user writes,
"I heard that Beijing is snowing, the headline of tomorrow's newspapers must be "Snows bring a prosperous year to welcome the 18th National Party Congress."
While another reads,
"The capital's timely snowfall welcomes the 18th National Party Congress! It will be the headline of the newspapers today!"
These comments not only poke fun at the party's clumsy propaganda efforts, but also point out the alienation most Chinese feel from the political machinations at the top. They know that their approval or disapproval of the new leadership is irrelevant. For LinkAsia, this is Nicole Sy in Beijing.