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Southern Weekly publishes as usual on Thursday

Southern Weekly, the Chinese newspaper that attracted the world media’s attention published its second issue of 2013 as usual on January 10, with 32 pages, despite many of its editors’ on-going strike. Southern Weekly’s official Weibo, which has been out of action since January 6, also came back to life with new posts of the latest issues’ articles.

As anticipated, there is no mentioning of the New Year Letter crisis that is still waiting to be resolved anywhere in the paper, including the Readers’ Letters section, most likely in an effort to calm things down. Information has been leaked that Hu Chunhua, Guangdong’s party chief has proposed to end the crisis with Editor-in-chief Huang Can and Tuo Zhen, the party propaganda chief sacked in exchange for the end of the strike. But no official statement has been issued yet. The authority and China’s state media both kept their silence over the issue.

Posted by Deputy Editor-in-chief of the Southern Metropolis Daily, @王钧WJ, this post praises the latest issue of Southern Weekly: I leafed through today’s Southern Weekly and have to give a big thumbs-up to all the articles, particularly the titles-concise, masterful, and top-notch. This is a group of talented editors. I hope the society will treasure their professional value and let them use their talent freely as they did in today's paper.

The previous twist to the crisis involving The Beijing News has also gone quiet and ended with the paper yielding to the party’s pressure and publishing an edited version of Global Times’ Southern Weekly editorial in its January 9 issue as a compromise to the request. Though the topic is strictly censored on the Chinese internet, the incident could still be detected through innuendos. Dai Zigeng, Editor-in-chief of the paper who allegedly has orally rendered his resignation to the Beijing propaganda official was reported to have attended the China Economic Development and Urbanization Development Summit Forum on the 9th and delivered a speech in which he said that The Beijing News will faithfully record the advances of the society and lend a voice to the Chinese people.

Beijing News, in a defiant gesture, published an article late at night on January 9 titled: Porridge in the South, indicating the Southern Weekly since porridge is pronounced the same as Week (zhou) in Chinese. At the end of the article, it said, “This bowl of hot porridge from the South, when first served, was still boiling hot and stirring, as if it had a brave heart… This bowl of porridge told us all about the power of consolation and love. ”

Porridge is used as a symbol in The Beijing News article in response to the party official's coercion. Photo: The Beijing News

The other paper that also openly resisted publishing Global Times’ editorial, the Changsha-based Xiaoxiang Morning News also had to conform to the party’s orders. However, the dark humor it demonstrated in the resolution earned itself much acclaim. In a rare move, half of the page where the Global Times article is located is taken up by a pest control service ad, sending a clear message to the world where the paper stand on this matter.

Page A2 of the January 9 Xiaoxiang Morning News. Photo: Xiaoxiang Morning News

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