China

China media: National Day reflection

China is marking its 64th National Day on Tuesday
Image caption On National Day, the papers say more social reform is needed

Media in China are celebrating the nation's economic progress on National Day, but also highlight the need for more social reforms.

On the 64th founding anniversary of the People's Republic of China, The Beijing News praises the country's economic might, but adds that the government needs to do more to protect citizens' rights.

"An imperfect legal system can hardly protect citizens' private property, which has led to a serious erosion of society's sense of trust and has also exacerbated public anxiety about fairness and impartiality," it says.

The paper adds that China is "increasingly facing serious environmental problems. Soil pollution, river pollution, air pollution and other problems are breaking out at the same time and assaulting the country and the people".

The Communist Party's People's Daily contrasts China's survival and prosperity with "ideologically confused" Arab countries that fell victim to the Arab Spring by "copying the West" and putting excessive faith in democratisation.

Turning to the Hong Kong press, the Apple Daily criticises the Communist Party, saying it is trying to win "public cheers" though his anti-corruption campaign when dissidents and human rights activists are being arrested for their whistle-blowing comments.

Also in Hong Kong, the Oriental Daily News says family members of the victims of a ferry disaster on last year's National Day have accused the government of failing to hold anyone accountable for the accident despite a year-long investigation.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government has cancelled the National Day fireworks display this year as a mark of respect for the victims, the South China Morning Post adds.

'Frugal' flower

In other National Day-related news, the People's Daily Overseas Edition showcases "frugal" flower decorations in Beijing that are in keeping with the party's ongoing anti-extravagance campaign.

However, the mainland media are silent on recent complaints by netizens over the cost of "Bless the Motherland", a giant, 18.2-metre-high vase adorned with fake flowers in the middle of Tiananmen Square.

The Beijing Youth Daily reported earlier this week that the vase costs 578,600 yuan ($94,400, £58,000) - 8,000 yuan higher than similar displays in the previous two years.

Turning to international news, state media have given prominent coverage to a mortar attack near the Chinese embassy in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Monday.

The embassy reported no casualties and said there were no plans to evacuate the compound.

Hua Liming, a former Chinese ambassador to Iran, tells the official Xinhua news agency that recent mortar attacks on the embassies of China, Russia and other countries may be accidents, but he did not rule out the possibility that they were fired by Syrian opposition forces.

Back in China, the Southern Metropolis Daily says authorities on Thursday threatened to shut down Xianguo, Zaker, Mobee and other mobile applications that provide news information services without approval from official regulators. The crackdown is targeting services that allow access to pornography, false information and blocked foreign websites.

Elsewhere, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports that Shanghai's new free trade zone has issued its first "negative list" of 18 sectors that will be off limits to foreign investors, as well as those from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

The list includes mineral mining, transport, internet data centres, cyber cafes, media and online games. Under the entertainment sector, gambling, sex and pornography businesses are barred.

In other news, Hong Kong's Oriental Daily News says many internet users are expressing scepticism over the police's latest rectification campaign.

The police plans to punish or expel officers who refuse to help people who get drunk and frequent nightclubs.

More regional officials in Hunan, Chongqing, Yunnan and elsewhere have held "criticism and self-criticism" meetings after President Xi Jinping's call for the sessions that began in northern Hebei last week.

Analysts, however, tell the South China Morning Post that the "self-criticism" system dating back to the Mao Zedong era has never been effective in the past for boosting discipline in the party.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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