The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is Beijing’s most important political event, which is being covered differently around the world.
China holds its congress only every five years, and the meeting allows foreign observers unique access to the inner working of the party.
Analysts at the China File wrote that the country is so successful at controlling its information that most reports do not yield valuable insight. Many organisations have to depend on “assumptions that paper over information gaps, or are structured in ways that exclude policy considerations and important variables.”
From WikiTribune’s comparison of international coverage, the general focus is on President Xi Jinping and his consolidation of power in the congress.
- Die Welt: Germany’s daily national newspaper focused on President Xi, emphasising his display of determination and power.
- Bloomberg: As a media organisation interested in business, Bloomberg has focused on what the congress means for global markets. It also criticised Xi for focusing too much on the power of his office and not enough on economic reforms.
- New York Times: The Times’ coverage of the congress is scant compared to other major U.S. sources. Its most in-depth piece is an analysis of the speech, focusing on issues like foreign policy, military modernization and Hong Kong.
- BBC: Before congress opened, the BBC had been closely reporting the run-up to the twice-decade event, including this profile of president Xi Jinping. Compared to other news sources, though, the focus is less on Xi and more on the agenda of the congress.
- Financial Times: The FT has decided to examine certain issues raised during the congress. For example, it expanded on China cementing its anti-corruption policies and how Xi is planning to reshape China’s place in the world.
- The Hindu: A heavy focus on Xi Jinping’s political ideology and his vision of the “Chinese Dream.”
- The Times of India: Again, a focus on Xi, but with a much more positive spin on the president.
- Hong Kong Free Press: The HKFP has reported on major crackdowns, such as the Chinese police rounding up dissidents as congress kicked off. In its coverage of the three-hour speech Xi gave on Wednesday, it honed in on China’s restriction on the internet and freedom of speech.
- South China Morning Post: Both the Hong Kong and International version of SCMP has congress splashed over its front page. It has the most in-depth coverage of the congress compared to other organisations, with a page dedicated to the event.
- France 24: The television network also focused on Xi, kicking off with a debate on whether China is an example of “one-man rule”.