The New York Times offered an indirect paean to Chinese Communist President Xi Jinping, reporting that many young Chinese people are emulating his fashion choices.
Titling their article, “So Square It’s Hip: Gen Z Tries on the Communist Cadre Look,” the Times opined the movement to dress like the repressive leader and other Chinese civil servants might arise from a “longing for stability in uncertain times.”
“A dull blue jacket, oversize trousers, a Communist Party member pin adding a splash of red on the chest, a small briefcase in hand,” the Times describes, outlining the typical dress of a Chinese Communist Party worker. It then added that “now the cadre look is cool.”
Young men have taken on the look, whose “paragon of this determinedly dull look is China’s top leader, Xi Jinping,” The Times wrote, arguing that although for some young people, the look is ironic, for others the fashion statement “suggests a stable career path and a respectable lifestyle.”
“The emergence of the unabashedly conventional look reflects China’s conservative political turn,” The Times decided, adding that “Xi’s signature blue jacket has echoes of the Mao suit,” in a reference to the Chinese leader whose brutal reign killed an estimated 60 million people.
The Times apparently has an abiding interest in how Chinese leaders are dressed; in August, the Times published an article revolving around China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi. The article began by mentioning Yi was a “dapper man in well-pressed suits,” before noting, “He is the campaigner for the global ambitions of his boss, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, carrying the message that Beijing will not be pushed around, least of all by the United States.”
The Times has not evinced any reluctance to publish articles by someone Chinese bashing the U.S. In early August, the Times published a guest essay titled “Why China’s People No Longer Look Up to America.” The author wrote, “ … after years of watching America’s wars overseas, reckless economic policies and destructive partisanship — culminating in last year’s disgraceful assault on the U.S. Capitol — many Chinese, including me, can barely make out that shining beacon anymore.”
“The sense of America as a dangerous force in the world has filtered into Chinese public attitudes as well,” the author continued, concluding, “Solving some of the planet’s biggest problems requires that we work together. But that doesn’t mean following America over the cliff.”
The Spectator reported in August 2021 that two employees of the Times alleged that a top editor at the Times told staffers not to investigate the origins of COVID.
One of the employees stated, “In early 2020 I suggested to a senior editor at the paper that we investigate the origins of COVID-19. I was told it was dangerous to run a piece about the origins of the coronavirus. There was resistance to running anything that could suggest that [COVID-19 was manmade or had leaked accidentally from a lab].”