Monday, October 8, 2012

Blast From the Past: 2010 - Bo Xilai Praises Baidu, Sina, and Others for Signing "Hongyan Declaration"

On September 28, 2012, Xinhua reported that the Political Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee had decided that Bo Xilai (薄熙来) would be expelled from the Communist Party of China and removed from public office. The following day it reported that the Standing Committee of the Chongqing Municipal People's Congress had decided to remove Bo from his post as deputy to the 11th National People's Congress.

Back in May 2010, the state-sponsored Hualong website published a report entitled "42 National Internet Media CEOs Sign 'Hongyan Declaration' In Chongqing" (全国42家网络媒体CEO重庆签署《红岩宣言》), stating that Beijing Internet media had convened a "Seventh Beijing Internet Media Red Native Land - Chongqing Circuit" (第七届北京网络媒体红色故土-重庆行”). The report went on to say that during a "Conference on New Media and Red Culture" (新媒体与红色文化传承研讨会) held during the event, 42 national Internet media outlets including Sina, Netease, and Baidu, signed a "media declaration" entitled "Succeed the Hongyan Spirit, Inherit the Red Culture" (继承红岩精神 传承红色文化).

Hongyan is a village in Chongqing, and it servered as the base of the Southern Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee and the Chongqing office of the Eight Route Army during World War II. According to a 2005 article from the state-sponsored China Radio International:
During the Anti-Japanese War, some famous Chinese revolutionaries like Zhou Enlai and Dong Biwu lived and worked in the area. Mao Zedong also came here when he was attending the Chongqing Negotiation. The “Hongyan Spirit”, combines devotion with perseverance, honesty with diligence and was created by the revolutionaries that fought here. As a result, the place has become a well-known base for the Chinese revolution.

"Yesterday, Hongyan Spirit Memorial Square, Honored Guests Participating in the 'Seventh Beijing Internet Media Red Native Land - Chongqing Circuit' Pay Respects to Revolutionary Martyrs" (昨日,红岩魂纪念广场,参加“第七届北京网络媒体红色故土·重庆行”的嘉宾向革命烈士致哀。) Source: Chongqing Business Post
In a report entitled "Bo Xilai and Huang Qifan Confer With Senior Officials from Beijing Internet Media" (薄熙来黄奇帆与北京网络媒体高管座谈), the state-sponsored Chongqing Evening News said that attendees included Robin Li (李彦宏 - Li Yanhong - Baidu), Cao Guowei (曹国伟 - Sina), and Ding Lei (丁磊 - Netease).

In a report entitled "The Internet Can Feel the Pulse of the People, Chongqing Welcomes Objective and Constructive Criticism" (网络可以感受民意脉动 重庆欢迎客观善意批评), the state-sponsored Chongqing Business Post quoted Bo Xilai as telling the assembled Internet executives:
The "Hongyan Declaration" that you have issued is very good. Media, including Internet media, have an important function, which is to daily mold the spiritual world of China's citizens. China has 400 million Internet users, and many are young people, and they are full of vitality and vigor. They are the future of the motherland, and it is the duty of the media to create healthy information platforms for them, and provide them guidance through their services. Comrades involved in the Internet, who hold to their bosom the revitalization of the great resurgence of the Chinese people, can in the course of their work not only make greater contributions, but also feel joy in their hearts and the value of human life. 
"Evening of May 26, 2010, Bo Xilai and Guests Participating in the 'Seventh Beijing Internet Media Red Native Land - Chongqing Circuit', Enjoy a Special Performance of 'Singing Reading Speaking Spreading' in the Chongqing Grand Performance Hall. Photo Shows Bo Xilai and Beijing Internet Media Singing "Me and My Motherland."

Source: Xinhua

Here is a partial translation of the Declaration:
The Internet is increasingly becoming a vehicle for the development of advanced socialist culture, and has significant utility in building up socialist government civilization, spiritual civilization, and harmonious society. Therefore, we will enable the spirit of our people and our time to become a major force in strengthening the building of socialist spiritual civilization, and allow the revolutionary spirit and revolutionary traditions represented by the Hongyan Spirit to be carried forward, the torch to be passed, and strive to build the Internet into a major battlefield in the transmission of progressive culture.  We will provide the people with more and better Internet cultural products, enabling positive and healthy red Internet cultural products to take a leading position online,  constantly improve the scope and professional quality of Internet red culture products, and strive to forge a set of red Internet culture brands that possess a Chinese aura, express the spirit of our time, and exude an elegance of style. 
A partial list of signatory websites: Sina, Sohu, Netease, Baidu, Tom Online, Phoenix, Yahoo China, Qihoo 360, Youku, MSN Chinese, Hexun, Ku6.

According to (operated by the State Council Information Office), at a 2011 conference on Internet self-regulation in Beijing hosted by the Beijing Association of Online Media and the Beijing Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center the "red culture Chongqing tour" and the signing of the Hongyan Declaration comprised one of the "top 10 instances of Internet self-regulation" in 2010.