China media: Tributes for Mandela

A framed portrait of former president Nelson Mandela and flowers are placed outside Mandela"s Johannesburg home Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 after the freedom fighter passed away Thursday night after a long illness. (
Image caption State media say Nelson Mandela was a great friend of China

State media pay tribute to South African leader Nelson Mandela as an "old friend" of China who admired the communist revolution.

China Central Television's morning news bulletin paid lengthy tribute to Mr Mandela, highlighting his admiration for mainland China's communist revolution of the 1940s.

"Mr Mandela was an old friend of China. His friendship with the people of China will still be ever-lasting," says news anchor Yuan Guoyu as he introduces the tribute.

"Even though he has left us today, his song of friendship with the Chinese people will always resonate in the air over the lands of China and South Africa," adds news anchor Zheng Li.

The CCTV tribute follows with "Glorious Years", a tribute to Mandela's fight against apartheid written by the former Hong Kong rock band Beyond in 1988.

"The meaning given him through his dark skin is the devotion of his whole life to a struggle for all skin colours," wrote the band's late founder Wong Ka-kui.

Mr Mandela is said to have cried after understanding the meaning of Wong's lyrics after his release from prison in 1990, CCTV recalls.

"The deep friendship between Mandela, the people of South Africa and China was made under long-term mutual struggles. Mandela once said, older generations of Chinese leaders like Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Zhu De, and the Chinese people gave a lot of support to the struggle of South Africans to strive for independence and resist the apartheid system," commented a CCTV announcer-read video.

The state-run China National Radio (CNR) also highlights how Mandela was inspired by the Communist revolution in China, especially during his years in prison.

"The revolution in China was a masterpiece, a real masterpiece. If you read how they fought that revolution, you believe in the impossible. It's just miraculous," the radio recalls him saying.

Mandela's China visit

The state broadcaster also notes that Mr Mandela "irked the Taiwan authorities" by visiting Beijing for the first time in 1992.

Taiwan still had diplomatic relations with the government of South Africa at that time and it tried to "obstruct and sabotage" Mandela's visit, according to CNR.

However, CNR and other official mainland media make no mention of Mandela's visit to Taiwan in 1993 or his "Two Chinas" policy which was at odds with Beijing's "one China" stance.

In 1998, South Africa switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

He Wenping, an African affairs expert at mainland China's state-run think-tank, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, tells the Sina news portal that Mr Mandela's loyalty to Taiwan for its support to the African National Congress.

On a cultural note, the state-run China News Service recalls how Mr Mandela liked to read "The Art of War", an ancient Chinese military treatise attributed to Sun Tzu (or Sunzi).

After Mr Mandela's imprisonment, prison authorities reportedly turned down his request for this book, the agency says.

The South African leader particularly admired Sun Tzu's "know one's enemy, know oneself, win 100 battles without a single loss" - a stratagem on how one is only able to defeat one's enemy by understanding the enemy first, the agency adds.

Turning to domestic news, The Beijing News and China Daily report that China's central bank has banned financial institutions from handling transactions of Bitcoin after investors lost money on fraudulent online platforms for the virtual currency.

Police have already detained three people who allegedly ran a fraudulent online Bitcoin trading platform, closed it down suddenly on 26 October and then disappeared with the investors' assets, state media reported earlier.

The Legal Daily says a public debate has been reignited over film director Zhang Yimou fathering three children in violation of the one-child policy after two lawyers filed a public interest lawsuit against him on Thursday.

The China Daily says the lawyers want to use the suit, filed with a court in Wuxi, the hometown of Zhang's wife, to air their anger at the policy's failure to constrain celebrities and the rich.

Meanwhile, the family planning authorities in Wuxi said it is investigating how Mr Zhang managed to get hukou, or permanent residence permits, for his three children.

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