Shangri-La Dialogue: For Straits Times, China Put in a “Masterly Performance”

Only sports/film journalists go overboard with adulation, but in Singapore political / business reporting is no different.

The Shangri-La Dialogue is done and dusted, old and current issues are back in focus. The Security Forum that concluded in Singapore on Sunday was followed by the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre yesterday with China squarely rejecting all criticism on the June 1989 protests and defending the crackdown.

While in Singapore, China’s Defence Minister, General Wei Fenghe, said the country followed the “correct” policy on Tiananmen, The Global Times, state-run English daily, said the “incident immunized China against any political turmoil“.

The “incident” was even bluntly dismissed as a “vaccination for the Chinese society”.

Incidentally, while the international media called it a massacre or crackdown, the Chinese media generally called it “action” and The Straits Times was guarded as well though it tried to present an alternative opinion with a piece on how “China is averse to political reforms…for now”.

Masterly performanceThis is no surprise as a pro-China slant has been evident in much of its reporting. In a report on Sunday, The Straits Times even described the discourse of Gen. Wei Fenghe at the Shangri-La Dialogue as a masterly performance.

Usually, only sports and film journalists go overboard with adulatory write-ups. Should I be amused at such language being used in a report on a globally watched event? In Singapore political / business reporting is no different!

G Joslin Vethakumar


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