State news agency Xinhua has suffered severe embarrassment as it released an article over the weekend that inadvertently referred to President Xi Jinping as “China’s last leader (最後領導人)”.
Realizing that the correct reference should have been “paramount leader (最高領導人)” instead of “last leader”, the news agency sent out an advisory to clients in about an hour after the story hit the wire Sunday afternoon, Apple Daily reports.
In the notice, media outlets were urged to amend the reference to Xi before publishing the article which dealt with Xi’s comments during the high-level political meetings this month.
The advisory was in relation to a sentence in the story which read: “China’s last leader Xi Jinxing said during this year’s National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference that there will be volatility in China’s development, but the future remains rosy”.
After realizing its gaffe, Xinhua sent out an advisory to media editors to revise the reference on Xi to “China’s paramount leader”.
By 5 am Monday, the amendments were duly made on most mainland news websites which had carried the original story. However, the error was still uncorrected on Sina news website in Taiwan.
The original article on xinhuanews.net, penned by someone whose identity is not known, has been removed.
Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Pao on Monday published the article in the amended version.
Meanwhile, there is no word as to whether any editorial staff at Xinhua is facing disciplinary action for letting the error slip through.
Earlier this month, Southern Metropolis Daily fired its editor and penalized a deputy editor after Xi’s comments on state-owned media were juxtaposed with an image of a sea burial on the front page.
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