China spokesperson Global Times reporters target online trolling
Australia is called “arrogant” and “the most hostile country besides the United States”, threatening “long-range missile fire” on Australian soil.
But now the Chinese media spokesperson, The Global Time, broke down in its own backyard – with some of its most vocal journalists facing their own fury.
The state-run daily tabloid is widely regarded as the unofficial voice of Beijing’s most aggressive opinions, its reporters regularly visiting its pages to taunt and slander enemies of the world’s largest country.
These verbal grenades, as relations continue to deteriorate after 12 months of escalating tensions, are most often thrown at Australia.
âPrepare for war? So build an anti-missile system! media editor Hu Xijin tweeted in May, following Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s statement that it would be “foolish” not to appreciate the potential risk of military conflict with China over Taiwan .
“I believe that once Australian troops travel to the Taiwan Strait to fight the People’s Liberation Army, there is a high probability that Chinese missiles will fly to key military bases and relevant facilities on the ground. Australian in retaliation. “
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Dismantling in March by reporter Li Qingqing accused Australia of auctioning off America and trying to “suppress China”, saying we “are undermining the development rights of the 1.4 billion Chinese” , while a series of provocative cartoons were published in December attacking the Australian Defense Force.
Created by artist Liu Rui, one of the drawings openly referred to allegations that Australian soldiers had committed war crimes, including 39 Afghans; while another represented a kangaroo.
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But amid an increasingly sweeping wave of nationalism sweeping through China and leader Xi Jinping’s exhortations to state media, government officials and diplomats to portray a “kind” image of China in their propaganda , World time reporters told the ABC they were now in the crosshairs.
“Nationalist commentators” and trolls target writers who have expressed concern that online rhetoric in the country of 1.39 billion people is becoming too extreme, ABC China correspondent Bill wrote on Saturday. Birtles.
When Hu slammed a widely condemned social media post from a Communist Party account in May, showing an image of a rocket launch in China alongside an image of Covid-19 victims cremated in India with the Captioned “lighting a fire in China VS lighting a fire in India”, he has been criticized online for being “insufficiently aggressive in defending China’s honor against a regional rival.”
Birtles points out that things “got up a notch this month when several prominent users of the censored Chinese Twitter-like platform Weibo decided to start publicly denouncing a group of well-known writers and academics like of the “traitors” exchange program sponsored by the Japanese government.
Due to online hostility, a number of World time journalists began to apologize for their previous posts.
Australia-trained writer Gao Lei apologized for being arrogant in his conduct online, calling for unity among Chinese patriots against the real enemy, “hostile foreign forces,” Birtles reported.
Studying abroad was fine, Gao said, as long as those who attended did not betray Communist China’s “socialist core values”.
âI studied in Australia for several years, but I attacked Australia the most, even prompting a protest from the Australian Ambassador to China,â he wrote.
People suddenly light up World times and its reporters show that the publication, its editor and colleagues, “in the eyes of these new radical nationalists, are old-fashioned and outdated fossils that are no longer welcome,” Beijing-based independent political analyst Wu Qiang, said. declared to the ABC.
âIt’s a more radical and extreme nationalism that has formed over the past decade,â he said.
Australia-based Chinese political commentator Edgar Lu agreed, calling it a “reaction” from a “restless crowd.”
âThe agitated crowd is now turning its guns on those who agitated it in the first place,â Mr. Lu said.
“The more radical you sound, the more attention and influence you get until someone up there says ‘stop’.”