- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 19, 2009

BEIJING (AP) - China’s Communist Party began publishing a new English-language newspaper Monday in a campaign to push the party line in international media.

The English edition of the Global Times will “cover the world from a Chinese perspective, and reflects the standpoints and opinions of Chinese people on significant international issues,” the official Xinhua News Agency said in a report.

It quoted Hu Xijin, the Global Times’ editor in chief, as saying the paper aimed to “to make friends with foreigners and to facilitate communication between China and the world.”

The new English-language paper’s launch reflects China’s new “soft power” drive to build its global reputation, muffle foreign criticism and broadcast the leadership’s particular views on issues such as democracy, human rights and Tibet.

The Global Times is published by party mouthpiece People’s Daily, directly controlled by the powerful party Central Committee. Xinhua is itself controlled by the Cabinet.

Along with media, China’s propaganda campaign includes academic, cultural and sports exchanges, highlighted by last year’s Beijing Summer Olympic Games.

The Global Times’ English edition joins a Chinese-language version focused mainly on international news that has been publishing since 1993.

Within China, it will compete with the more established English-language China Daily, which on Monday ran a special 16-page insert focused on the Shanghai Auto Show, and the smaller Shanghai Daily.

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