Wall Street Journal Now, China’s state media is going one step further, flooding the Internet with photos and videos of Muslims observing the holy month throughout the country. by Felicia Sonmez
'Since the eruption of anti-Chinese protests
in Istanbul two weeks ago, the English-language Twitter and Facebook
accounts of China’s state-run media—including the official Xinhua news
agency, the China Daily newspaper, state broadcaster CCTV and the
Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily—have issued a steady stream of
content related to Ramadan observance in China.
'The sustained media campaign is a departure from past years, when
China’s response to reports on Ramadan restrictions was largely left to
foreign ministry officials in Beijing. It is also the latest sign of the
ruling Communist Party’s stepped-up efforts to better craft China’s
image abroad, in part through the expansion of state-run media—a pursuit
that has thus far produced mixed results.
'Demonstrators in Turkey took to the streets earlier
this month in at times violent protests following reports that Chinese
authorities had restricted fasting among Uighurs, a mainly Muslim,
Turkic-speaking ethnic minority based in China’s far-western Xinjiang
region. As in past years, the reports detailed
notices on state media and government websites calling for party
cadres, students, teachers and government workers to refrain from
observing Ramadan. They also detailed new efforts such as a state-sponsored beer festival in a heavily-Muslim area.'