It has been four years since our last WPCC Chinese media issue was published. In that time, the People's Republic had gone through a dramatic period, mixed with joy and hope as well as devastation. The year 2008 marked the 30th anniversary of the Deng Xiaoping-Ied Economic Reform. At the same time, it witnessed China's successful Beijing Olympic Games, despite much controversy over the 'typically Chinese' manipulation that characterized the opening ceremony. Last year, the Chinese Communist Party celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic; although the most intriguing picture of the celebration was still a magnificent display of military weapons alongside with a massive but highly ordered dancing party held in Tiananmen Square, it seemingly received much more positive coverage within international press than previous celebrations of this kind. In March 2008, a series of riots and demonstrations took place in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and adjacent Tibetan-inhabited areas of the country. The demonstrations not only turned into intensely violent situations in Tibet, but also triggered a global-scale anti-Beijing Olympics row, mainly organized by the Tibetans in exile. Two months after the Tibet incident, on 12 May, in Sichuan province of southwest China, a deadly earthquake that measured at 7.9 on the Richter scale took place, leaving at least 87,000 people dead. This great earthquake immediately made headline news in the global media system; as it had been heavily criticized for preventing the foreign press from freely reporting on the Tibet unrest, the Chinese government provided foreign journalists with much more freedom to cover the earthquake. On 5 July 2009, a series of violent riots over several days took place in Drumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The riots started as a protest involving at least 1000 Uyghurs, but later escalated into violent attacks which mainly targeted Han (ethnic Chinese) people. Armed police were deployed to put down the violence and, two days later, hundreds of Han people clashed with both the police and Uyghurs. According to the Chinese government, 197 people died, with 1721 others injured and many vehicles and buildings destroyed in the riots. Uyghur groups, on the other hand, say the death toll was far higher.


How to Cite: Guo, G. (2017) “Editorial”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture. 7(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.189