The South China Morning Post says that “China is shaking up its propaganda and internet leadership as it tries to improve the country’s image abroad and ensure online views toe the Communist Party’s line.”
“The propaganda work … overhyped China’s rise to becoming a great power, and that image looked pale and unconvincing after the United States started a trade war with China… It’s a strategic mistake or failure. Someone has to be responsible,” one analyst told the SCMP.Xu Lin 徐麟 is expected to take chargeof the State Council Information Office to coordinate propaganda directed abroad. Xu is currently head of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). Zhuang Rongwen 庄荣文 is said to be Xu’s replacement as Cyberspace chief. Both men are said to be Xi allies. You can find brief biographies of Xu and Zhuang on Chinavitae.
With the trade war animating China’s critics in America, and global awareness growing of intensified repression of Chinese civil society, I don’t envy Xu’s job: the application of massive amounts of lipstick to a very ugly pig.