China’s Political Discourse July 2021: Floods in Henan; Matter of national importance 国之大者; Tedros
By China Media Project
Floods in Henan
In July, the curtain opened on the celebration of the centennial of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the major propaganda event of the year. Centennial celebrations pushed many key Party slogans and buzzwords to a relatively high frequency of use in the official People’s Daily newspaper. As the month progressed, however, China’s media came to be dominated by the story of historic rainfall and heavy flooding in Henan province, perhaps the most jarring news story since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic in early 2020.
As flooding devastated Henan there were calls once again – as in the case of Covid in January and February last year – for mutual aid and support. And there were also public calls for greater action as flooding exposed the drawbacks of a system in which responses had to filter through layers of bureaucracy before being translated into real action. Internet users, for example, expressed frustration with Henan TV, which continued to broadcast anti-Japane…