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China Radio International now broadcasts Beijing-friendly programs on over 30 U.S. outlets, many in major American cities. The China Global Television Network reaches more than 75 million Americans, and it gets its marching orders directly from its Communist Party masters. As China’s top leader put it during a visit to the network’s headquarters, and I quote, “The media run by the Party and the government are propaganda fronts and must have the Party as their surname.”Vice President Speech

What does "have the Party as their surname.” mean here?

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A surname is a family name. I assume the quote means that the "top leader" wants everyone who works for these Party media organizations to be as loyal to the Party as they are to their own families.

The original post quotes one politician (America's Vice President, Mike Pence) quoting another politician ("China's top leader"). It is likely that the thought was originally in Chinese. The quote does not say who translated the thought into English -- it might have been one of the Chinese leader's assistants; it might have been a person in the Chinese state media; it might have been someone in America's State Department or CIA. Thus, we do not know how well translated the thought was, nor do we know the bias of the translator. Even if the quote is a perfect translation, we must be careful not to use Western cultural assumptions to "read too much into" the quote. Any further implications would require understanding the Chinese cultural context of the statement.

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