Zhang Danhong (张丹红) – Maintaining Journalistic Truth Under the Spectre of German Racism (2008)

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Zhang Danhong (张丹红) – Chinese Journalist

During the summer of 2008, an extraordinary outburst of institutional anti-Chinese racism occurred in modern Germany. Although not reported widely in the English-speaking press, nevertheless, it appears to have been orchestrated to cause maximum disruption to the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games. German racism, of course, is nothing new. This is a country that inflicted upon humanity one of its greatest tragedies in the form of the Nazi German holocaust, and which (through the US colony of West German), actively participated in the bringing-down of Communist East Germany and the Soviet Union. During imperialist times, Germany sent troops into China as a means to steal land that did not belong to Germany, whilst between 1898-1900, German troops ruthlessly participated in an international effort to viciously put-down the indigenous Chinese Boxer Uprising (a mass movement against Western imperialism). Fascistic German attitudes toward Socialism are not new, however, as in 1918 (whilst German troops were still fighting British troops in France), the Kaiser ordered German troops into Revolutionary Russia to fight alongside British troops, with the objective of ‘destroying’ the Socialist Regime developing there. Imperial, fascist and now ‘democratic’ Germany has a well established racist and anti-Socialist attitude that is historically clear for all to see. Little more can be expected from a country that treats former SS Officers (and ‘War Criminals’) with the utmost respect, providing such odious individuals with State-owned lavish accommodation and generous State Pensions.

Zhang Danhong, (who was 42 in 2008), was born in Beijing and studied Germanic language and literature at Beijing University and Cologne, Germany. In 1990, she became a Chinese journalist for the Chinese Department of ‘Voices of Germany’, and has been the Deputy Director of that department since 2004. As a German media expert and expert on Chinese affairs, (and since the violence of ‘smashing and robbing’ that occurred in Tibet in March of 2008), Zhang Danhong has frequently appeared at various seminars and on television programmes in Germany to make the case for China. Zhang has consistently maintained that the West should not criticize China with an ulterior attitude, but rather recognise China’s progress in Human Rights (and other key areas).

Four days before the opening of the Beijing Olympics, Zhang Danhong, reportedly said that ‘The Communist Party of China has more than any political force in the world implemented Article 3 of the Declaration of Human Rights’, referring to the Chinese Authorities pulling more than 400 million people out of poverty. Similarly, on a TV talk show in late July, Zhang reportedly said that the Chinese government had done much to protect local culture in Tibet, and criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for deliberately sabotaging relations with Beijing. The German media is said to have reacted strongly to Zhang’s remarks. On August 11th, German magazine Focus attacked Zhang as someone who was ‘courting’ China’s Communist Party. On August 20th, the Berliner Zeitung Newspaper quoted parliamentary representative Dieter Wiefelsputz as saying that Zhang’s performance was a ‘catastrophe’. Two days later (on the August 22nd), the same newspaper confirmed Zhang’s suspension from work. Zhang’s employer – German Voices – (without any sense of irony) stated Zhang ‘Did not uphold the values of freedom, democracy and human rights that Germany has consistently adhered to.’ Even a cursory examination of German history exposes the lie of this statement.

After the German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the 14th Dalai Lama in the Prime Minister’s Office in 2007, a major diplomatic crisis was triggered between Germany and China, with the media in Germany initiating a racially motivated smear campaign against China. After the ‘March 14’ incident in Tibet in 2008, the German media reached fever pitch in its rhetorical war against China. Even in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, some of Germany’s mainstream media outlets did not stop unwarranted accusations against China. For example, “Der Spiegel” attacked the Chinese government for its earthquake relief work in Sichuan Province as ‘making the disaster a public relations initiative.’

On a talk show entitled ‘Fighting for Markets and Medals – Fear of Emerging Power in China’ which aired on TV2 in Germany, Zhang Danhong criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for pursuing a confrontation with China by meeting with the 14th Dalai Lama and undermining the historically good relations between China and Germany. Zhang also praised the Chinese government for its great efforts in protecting Tibetan culture. It is understood that around 20,000 people watched this programme on the day in Germany. Zhang Danhong said she received a large number of letters from viewers after the programme was aired, agreeing with her point of view.  On the issue of Tibet, Zhang has repeatedly and outspokenly criticized the Western media for its non-factual reports. At a conference in Bonn held by the Dalai Lama’s representative in Europe – Gusang Gyinzan – Zhang on the spot questioned Gusang Gyinzan as to why it was that the 14th Dalai Lama had told the Western media that he had given-up his demand for an ‘Independent’ Tibet, whilst the so-called ‘Constitution of Tibet Government in Exile’ (written in the Tibetan language) still retained the ‘Independence’ clause? Gusang Gyinzan was shocked into silence in front of the world media.

In the meantime, Zhang Danhong stated that her suspension was due entirely to her objective reporting about China, and her refusal to accept or repeat Western lies. The Western support for the 14th Dalai Lama and the Falun Gong Cult is the real reason her approach to objective and factual reporting has been attacked in Germany as such truthful reporting is a threat to the Western misrepresentation of China and her historic developments in all aspects of progressive development since 1949.

(Other Chinese sources state that Zhang Danhong was ‘sacked’ as ‘Deputy Director’ of the Chinese Department of ‘German Voices’, but was subsequently allowed to assume her role as an ‘Editor’. This followed the December 1st, 2008 decision taken by the German Broadcasting Authority that ‘German Voices’ had done no wrong in its treatment of Zhang Danhong. However, after this ‘indicent’, Zhang Danhong continued to be the target of German racism whilst at work for her objective approach to journalism)

Chinese Language References:

http://m.sohu.com/n/259265921/

https://baike.baidu.com/item/张丹红/19347

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