Communiqué # 2 of 10: Zhu Yinghuang remembers the turbulent days of the Cultural Revolution. As a young college graduate in 1960s, he and entire cadres of students were sent off to the countryside for hard manual labor on farms and in factories. At least they were in it together: “We suffered a lot,” he said, “but it wasn’t all bad.”
Now, at age 70, Zhu is the Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of the China Daily, the nation’s largest English-language newspaper with a global circulation of 500,000. Zhu says he faces little of the censorship that restricts China’s internal social media environment, and he is free to criticize government officials and policies. Up to a point. His marching orders are still to keep things “positive” about China.
That, however, is as much an economic imperative as a political one. Zhu’s audience is largely foreign. In this business-crazy hybrid society, his mission is not to educate the masses so much as to present China to the world, particularly to foreign investors.
His is not the franchise of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. “One important aspect is to inform the foreign world of China’s investment climate and business opportunities,” he said over a breakfast of Dim sum.
It’s not just the Chinese who would rather dwell on economic development than Mao, whose portrait still adorns the entrance to the Forbidden City. So would the estimated 740,000 foreign investment entities that he said have flocked to China in the past two decades, including scores from Minnesota, such as 3M and Best Buy Co.
“We think this is good for China’s economic development, and a natural result of the global economy,” he said.
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