Without exception, all media will not republish online so-called photos of General Secretary Xi JInping hotel room or items he has used.
This looks like a reference to one of the classic problems of official media in an authoritarian society: how do you make sure everybody knows how modest the maximum leader is without leaving the impression that he’s boasting about it.
Xi’s been hitting the modesty klaxon big time over the past month. First we had his pronouncements that official meetings must be of modest length, take place in modest circumstances, cause only a modest amount of traffic disruption and be conducted in the modest speech of plain, modest folk.
Indeed, all week the modest folk of China have been hearing about the modesty of Xi’s attempts to humbly follow in the teeny-weeny footsteps of Deng Xiaoping’s tour of the South: of how he modestly stayed in a modest hotel, picking with his own modest hands at the modest buffet laid on for all comers.
Thing is, once you start going on about the modest stains left on the modest mattress by the modest travelling salesman who preceded Xi in his modest hotel room – it’s then that people start thinking that you might be taking the piss.