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Libya: Chinese State Media Slams West Over Strikes, Though Some Bloggers Dissent

Libya: Chinese State Media Slams West Over Strikes, Though Some Bloggers Dissent

After its diplomats abstained in opposition to last week's UN Security Council resolution on Libya response, China state media and bloggers take up debate over Western policy.

A U.S. F-16 pilot returns from mission over Libya (dvidshub)

BEIJING - If one was to believe China's official press and its television and radio outlets, the war in Libya stems only from base economic interests or cold geo-strategic calculations. China Daily has illustrated this point of view by saying that "just as Iraq was attacked because of its oil, Libya is also being attacked for its oil."

For the ultra nationalistic Global Times, the situation is even more serious: "The air attacks are an announcement that the West wants to dominate the world,", because it apparently "still believes down to its very bones that it is the leader of the world." As for the People's Daily, it concludes simply that "the Western political and military intervention in the Middle East is mainly about oil."

Among the Western allies, France is a preferred target. The People's Daily writes that the active role played by President Nicolas Sarkozy on this issue is an indication that, as current president of the G20, he is desperate to show his ability to lead collective actions. The newspaper also hints that the French President could have used the air strikes in Libya to help his party in last weekend's local elections across France.

Unsurprisingly, the official Chinese media do not mention Beijing's inconsistency on the matter, notably its choice to abstain rather than veto the UN resolution. Since China has repeatedly opposed any military intervention based on humanitarian grounds in the past, this may signal a new approach. Where China was concerned, respect for the principle of non-interference and national sovereignty had always carried the day. Some see the subtle shift as a sign of China's new role in world affairs: the country now has no choice but to adopt a more flexible stance and pay more attention to the opinion of Arab or African countries (which supported the creation of a no-fly zone).

The result is a huge gap between, on one hand, an abstention equaling a go-ahead, and on the other hand, a media campaign whose virulence is rooted in the Chinese authorities' extreme mistrust of the spread of "Western" human rights values.

The Global Times has thus denounced the Chinese websites that dared to invoke "the senseless argument that human rights are more important than sovereignty." The most famous Chinese blogger, Han Han, has indeed written that "the refusal to intervene should not stand when dealing with dictators." Sina's micro blogging site has also hosted a number of critical messages, such as that of a user - and forwarded by the writer Zhang Yihe - who notices the fact that "countries that oppose the use of force outside their borders are the same as those most likely to rely on it inside their own borders."

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Murdoch's Resignation Adds To Biden Good Luck With The Media — A Repeat Of FDR?

Robert Murdoch's resignation from Fox News Corp. so soon before the next U.S. presidential elections begs the question of how directly media coverage has impacted Joe Biden as a figure, and what this new shift in power will mean for the current President.

Close up photograph of a opy of The Independent features Rupert Murdoch striking a pensive countenance as his 'News of the World' tabloid newspaper announced its last edition will run

July 7, 2011 - London, England: A copy of The Independent features Rupert Murdoch striking a pensive countenance as his 'News of the World' tabloid newspaper announced its last edition will run July 11, 2011 amid a torrid scandal involving phone hacking.

Mark Makela/ZUMA
Michael J. Socolow

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States of America on Jan. 20, 2021.

Imagine if someone could go back in time and inform him and his communications team that a few pivotal changes in the media would occur during his first three years in office.

There’s the latest news that Rubert Murdoch, 92, stepped down as the chairperson of Fox Corp. and News Corp. on Sept. 21, 2023. Since the 1980s, Murdoch, who will be replaced by his son Lachlan, has been the most powerful right-wing media executivein the U.S.

While it’s not clear whether Fox will be any tamer under Lachlan, Murdoch’s departure is likely good news for Biden, who reportedly despises the media baron.

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