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Cablegate: Ambassador and Commerce Secretary Receive Massive Press

VZCZCXRO3287
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHGZ #0640 3240016
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 200016Z NOV 09
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1106
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE 0343
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS GUANGZHOU 000640

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/CM, EAP/PD, IIP, PA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO KMDR PREL KIPR ETRD OVIP CH
SUBJECT: Ambassador and Commerce Secretary Receive Massive Press
Coverage

Ref: A) Guangzhou 611, B) Guangzhou 616, C) Guangzhou 619, D)
Guangzhou 622

Summary
--------
1. (SBU) Summary and Comment: Over a billion people are believed to
have read, watched or listened to Chinese and international media
reports covering the Ambassador and Commerce Secretary's October
26-27 trip to Guangzhou. While south China press -- government owned
and operated -- is accurately regarded as less restrictive than
elsewhere, the provincial government fought Post's efforts to
maximize press coverage. But after difficult negotiations throughout
the process, in the end local officials could not ignore the need to
provide media access for high-profile visits. End summary and
comment.
Over One Billion Served
-----------------------

2. (SBU) The statistics are gaudy -- over 100 journalists produced
over 220 reports that covered the Ambassador and Commerce
Secretary's two-day visit and reached an estimated Chinese audience
of over 750 million and international audience of 300 million.
Overall coverage was positive, focusing on both soft issues -- the
Ambassador speaking Cantonese and Mandarin, his gentleness with
handicapped children, the Commerce Secretary's return "home" -- to
the sensitive: the Commerce Secretary's direct criticism of the PRC
for inadequate enforcement of IPR. (For a complete analysis of press
coverage, please see:
http://china.state.gov/GZ/PAS/Weekly%20Highli ghts/2009

Guangzhou: The Hard Slog on Media
---------------------------------

3. (SBU) A day before the Ambassador's arrival, it looked likely
that the Guangdong Intellectual Property Office -- the local host
for the IPR Forum to be attended by both the Secretary and
Ambassador -- would deny access to all Chinese reporters that they
had not invited as well as all international media, including CNN,
Newsweek, Reuters, AFP and AP. Post requested intervention from the
Guangdong Foreign Affairs Office, but they remained agnostic, saying
that the decision to grant access rested with the local host and
that they were powerless to assist. Fighting to ensure that all
reporters -- Chinese and international -- were granted access was
acrimonious.

By Any Means Necessary
----------------------

4. (SBU) Copies of the Secretary's public remarks were shared with
Post in advance, and Post released their translation as the
Secretary delivered the actual remarks. The rush to publish most
likely helped some of the more critical content evade censorship.
South China's business magazine powerhouse, the 21st Century
Business Herald, even printed the remarks in their entirety.

Don't Discount New Media
------------------------
5. (SBU) Websites developed specifically for mobile-phone users
receive increasingly heavy traffic in China. 3g.cn alone, for
example, attracts over 100 million visitors a day, the majority of
whom are young, white-collar, and wealthy enough to own a smart
phone. Post's efforts to recruit Kong.net, 3g.cn, as well as
regional media who focus on their mobile-phone website platforms
resulted in at least 200 million additional readers.

Conclusion
----------
6. (SBU) Comment: Visitors from Washington and Beijing can expect
press coverage during visits to south China. Post is hopeful that
the slogging it takes to secure press access will diminish as the
number of visitors, and the provincial government's familiarity with
high level U.S. visitors, increases. Comment.
GOLDBECK

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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