fredag 9. august 2019

Stop Calling Xi Jinping “President”. It’s not actually his title

Most journalists like to think of themselves as skeptical of power and resistant to official narratives, particularly in this era of American politics. But American news networks, magazines, and newspapers have been spreading a pernicious piece of Chinese propaganda for years. It’s more subtle than Donald Trump’s bombast and, having gone mostly ignored, weakens American understanding of China. In their articles about the trade war, protests in Hong Kong, China’s human rights violations, and China’s global advances, every major American publication refers to Xi Jinping as China’s “president.”

That is bizarre—because China has no president.

Xi actually holds three key titles. The first two are a mouthful: Xi serves as the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party; the chairman of the Central Military Commission, the body that oversees the army; and the head of the People’s Republic of China. In Chinese, that third title translates as chairman of the country.