China’s ruling Communist Party launched English app in soft power push

Vastavam web: The People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party, launched an English- language mobile application today in what it called a “strategic step” to strengthen Beijing’s influence internationally.The newspaper, which sold an average of 3.18 million copies a day in 2016, launched a Chinese app three years ago that it says has been downloaded 200 million times, but it did not yet have an app in English for mobile phones.
Further enhance our global influence and presence,” People’s Daily Newspaper Group president Yang Zhenwu said at a ceremony at a brand new headquarters in Beijing, in the presence of senior government officials.”We are striving to achieve what President Xi has asked, namely to speak well of China and to spread his word well,” Yang added.The new English-language app’s home page launched today with a photo of Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, who sent a congratulatory letter to his Chinese counterpart Xi for the upcoming 19th National Congress, a twice-a-decade political meeting.
In addition to the People’s Daily, China has several international news channels, including Xinhua news agency and, since the end of 2016, the China Global Television Network (CGTN), which brings together foreign language channels of its state broadcaster.Beijing has maintained that its various forms of web censorship – collectively known as “The Great Firewall” – are necessary for protecting its national security.
The Communist Party congress opens Wednesday and is expected to see Xi tighten his grip on power.