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Xinhua News Agency, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, marked its 80th anniversary this week. The Party has poured billions of dollars into expanding Xinhua's reach, with one senior official urging Xinhua to become a "world-class" media. But experts say it would be hard for Xinhua to reach that goal while it remains the so-called "throat and tongue" of the communist party.
The Chinese regime's top propaganda official, Li Changchun, praised Xinhua News Agency on its 80th anniversary at a ceremony in Beijing on Monday. Li called on the state-run media to continue serving the Chinese Communist Party and shape public opinion. Li also urged Xinhua to become a "world-class" media, and increase its global influence.
The Chinese Communist Party established Xinhua on November 7, 1931 as its mouthpiece. Freelance reporter Zan Aizhong says the news agency will continue to play that role, given Li Changchun's remarks on Monday.
[Zan Aizong, Freelance Reporter]:
"All of Xinhua's reporting is guided by Party seniors. It reports on matters the Party allows it to report. There's always a yardstick that Xinhua cannot report outside of. It has to follow orders, and is an 'obedient' media. Li Changchun is asking Xinhua to remain obedient, and even more so in the future."
In an effort to exert its soft power, the Chinese regime has invested billions of dollars to expand its media. Xinhua is now a prominent feature in New York's Times Square. It also stated a 24-hour news station in July last year. But many commentators like media expert Professor Jiao Guobiao doubt Xinhua's prospects.