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  • Oct 20, 2013

BEIJING – China’s Communist Party has begun ordering all Chinese journalists not to take supportive stances toward Japan when writing about territorial and historical issues between the two countries, participants of a mandatory training program revealed Saturday.

Around 250,000 journalists who work for various Chinese media organizations must attend the nationwide training program to learn about such topics as Marxist views on journalism, laws and regulations and norms in news-gathering and editing, in order to get their press accreditation renewed. The unified program started in mid-October and will run through the end of this year.

It is believed to be the first time the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which tightly controls the country’s media industry, has carried out this kind of training program before renewing press credentials.

On Japan, the instructors denounced Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “right-leaning” policies and urged reporters from newspapers, news agencies, broadcasters and online media to refrain from concessionary comments regarding China’s claims over the Japan-held Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the participants said. China claims the islets as Diaoyu.

But at the same time, they warned participants not to adopt overly belligerent positions vis-a-vis Japan.

In addition to Japan, the instructors said the United States is “trying to undermine our country” and criticized the Philippines and Vietnam, which are mired in territorial disputes with China, the participants said.

They were also told to reject democracy and human rights, as these values, the instructors said, are claimed by “the West as universal (but) are targeting China’s Communist Party.”

One group of instructors praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the Chinese government has been trying to promote images of close relations with him, according to the participants.

After taking the program, Chinese journalists are required to pass an exam, seen taking place between January and February, to obtain press cards.

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