Sunday, February 10, 2013

Incinerated Fantasy: Kim Jong-un, Zhu Feng, and a Censored Article in Beijing

Some interesting analysis in this and a good illustration of Chinese censorship.  Zhu Feng is quite an outspoken professor for a PRC citizen; living working, teaching, and writing in the PRC at Peking University.  He made some interesting remarks last year in a conference we held.  He and I had a long discussion at dinner about China's intentions in north Korea post regime collapse and he was very candid in how he thinks the PRC will exploit the situation (e.g., allow the burden to fall on the ROK, use it as an opportunity to force the ROK to get US forces off the peninsula and extract natural resources to go back to China making the ROK honor the 50 and 100 year mineral leases that they have already made with the Kim Family Regime leadership).

Incinerated Fantasy: Kim Jong-un, Zhu Feng, and a Censored Article in Beijing

Incinerated Fantasy:  Kim Jong-un, Zhu Feng, and a Censored Article in Beijing

On February 2, Peking University professor Zhu Feng put forward an op-ed that was ground-breaking in its criticism of the DPRK. Because the article was published first in Singapore and then subsequently in Beijing, we have a rare opportunity to see how Zhu’s hard-hitting message for Pyongyang was aggressively censored on the mainland, presumably by higher authorities, to scrub it clean of unacceptable messages.

Specifically, the Beijing version scuttled language about South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye’s willingness to negotiate, removed mention of Washington’s desire for regime change, excised all personal references to China’s leaders, gutted an entire paragraph about power struggles in Pyongyang, and removed mention of Kim Jong-un altogether, both his “inability to decide when to test” and the first Chinese criticism (to our knowledge) by a Chinese intellectual of the young Kim Jong-un as “a badass.” SinoNK has painstakingly compared the two versions for readers to get a rare glimpse of where exactly the rhetorical redline stands for the Party right now as we approach, presumably, a North Korean nuclear test, a test of China’s new leaders, and the year of the Water Snake. — Adam Cathcart and Roger Cavazos

Presented in two versions with afterword:

Version II: Text as Carried by Global Times on February 2, 2013 with changes (either by censors, Huanqiu Shibao editors, or some combination of both) translated from the Chinese and compared to the uncensored Lianhe Morning Post version by

Afterword: Five short paragraphs of what we believe are important contextual elements to consider for future analysis.
(Continued at the link below)

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