The Principle of Partisanship in the Statistical Services

The China Digital Times regularly shares Chinese Communist Party Propaganda Department order to the Chinese media.  This orders are not published but are circulated to broadcast, print and other media in China Mainland so that the news will stay correct.

This notice, on making sure that reports on economic statistics are reported with all due (and from an outsider’s perspective all undue) optimism,  reached the China Digital Times from their contacts in China.

Communist Party of China Central Propaganda Department

Notice 2015 #320

Notice Regarding Increased Economic Propaganda and Guidance in the Near Term

To the People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, Guangming Daily, Economic Daily, China Daily, China National Radio, China Central Television, China Radio International, China News Service, and subordinate emerging media outlets:

According to instructions from central leadership comrades, all news media outlets must continue to deepen their study and transmission of the spirit of Secretary-General Xi Jinping’s series of important speeches, revolving around the strategic positioning of the “Four Comprehensives,” combined with deep concern for public opinion. The focus for the month of September will be strengthening economic propaganda and guiding public opinion, as well as overall planning for domestic- and foreign-facing propaganda and Internet propaganda, in order to take the next step in promoting the discourse on China’s bright economic future and the superiority of China’s system, as well as stabilizing expectations and inspiring confidence.

Properly interpret economic data. In September, the National Bureau of Statistics will successively release for circulation important information on changes in means of production and market prices and the monthly reports on the consumer price index, industry production price index, above-scale industry production, and total value of retail sales for consumer goods. In the near future, listed banks will also successively announce their annual reports for the first half of the year. Every news media outlet must interview representatives and experts from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the China Banking Regulatory Commission, and other relevant organizations; properly interpret economic data; and correctly report on new changes in economic market conditions and relevant industry management.

Strengthen propaganda related to economic highlights and their effects. Closely follow economic market conditions, and diligently… [Chinese text]

This reminds me of the Great Leap Forward quote from a Chinese Statistical Bureau official that I saw in a FBIS translation from the time that I ran across on a microfilm. “We must never forget the principle of partisanship in the statistical services”. Any government will try to massage their message the discipline and ideology of the Party added to the ability to usually tightly control the media can take this to extremes!

See the passage from Google Books has a passage from The Statistical System of Communist China By Choh-Ming Li that explains the principle of partisanship in the statistical services.

The essence of partisanship in the statistical services Li discusses here:

GLF--partisan in the statistical services

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