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Perceptions and Reactions of China’s Government Running Medias during the period of Manchurian Incident ―Focused on Zhongyangribao―

Lee Jaeryoung 1

1단국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is of the comprehensive examination on the articles and the editorials of Zhongyangribao, the party newspaper of Guomindang(People's party) in the Political Tutelage period, in order to clarify the situational recognition and the reactional aspects of China’s government-running media during the period of the Manchurian Incident which was the prelusion of the Sino-Japanese War. With the success of the Northern Expedition, in order to realize the Political Tutelage, Guomindang reformed Zhongyangribao, which was originally the inclination of left, and strengthen the function as its central party newspaper. By the early 1931, this newspaper could not overcome its limit of a party controled media; but the Japanese empire’s invasion of Manchuria provided a turning points to Zhongyangribao as a party newspaper. It started to propagate and expand anti-Japanese policies and dominantly produced and spreaded anti-Japanese strategies. Throughout this process Zhongyangribao rapidly grew both in quantity and in quality, and took up the core of the directly-controlled media. In the early phase of the Manchurian Incident, Zhongyangribao domestically appealed for nationwide solidarity, prepared death for anti-Japanese volition, and criticized the invasion of Japanese empire in fierce wordings. At the same time the newspaper took the bilateral position suppressing the national independent movement of students and youths and asserting the ‘Resistance in Order’ under Guomindang’s supervision and administration. This bilaterality showed the fanciless limit of a government-running media which had to correspond to the anti-Japanese public opinion only within Nanjing government’s resolutions. Internationally, Zhongyangribao took the strategy of squeezing Japanese army’s retreat by the interference of the League of Nations; but there were not enough political·military·diplomatic abilities and efforts of Nanjing government. Yet, the economic severance against Japan turned into a notable success and became a breakthrough for exploding the nation’s resisting energy. Since Zhongyangribao was the central party newspaper, its reports could not diverge from the nonresistant pace and its editorials were lack of practical resolution. Therefore, the influence of government-running media in the process of forming anti-Japanese public opinion was very weak. Rather, the newspaper company got attacked by the public with the critique of distorting and misleading public opinions. Zhongyangribao within the limit as a directly-controlled newspaper asserted the nonviolent long-term resistance, such as the nationwide solidarity, the resistance in order, the diplomatic interference of the League of Nations, the economic severance against Japan, and the national spiritual armament. Although it might be devaluated as a passive action under nonresistance pace, it took an important role for relieving the national critique and resistance against Guomindang’s Japan policies, and for resolving the private medias’ pressure asserting the immediate fighting. Although Guomindang’s nonresistance pace after the Manchurian Incident hurted Nanjing government’s legitimacy, Japanese empire’s constant aggression formulated the format of the anti-Japanese war with Chiang Kai-shek in the core. Such a logic of Zhongyangribao became the strategy for anti-Japanese war not only of government-running media but also of China as a whole, and acted as the foundation for Chiang Kai-shek’s leadership. And then, as the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of 1937 enlarged the Sino-Japanese war into full-scale, the same logic became a key for the solidarity of all domestic groups to fight against Japan.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.