Guangming Daily

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Guangming Daily
Guangming logo.png
Front page of the first issue on 16 June 1949
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)China Democratic League (1949-82)
[1]Chinese Communist Party (1982-)
Founded16 June 1949
Political alignmentChinese Communist Party
Guangming Daily
Simplified Chinese光明日报
Traditional Chinese光明日報
Headquarters of Guangming Daily

The Guangming Daily, also known as the Enlightenment Daily,[2] is a national Chinese-language daily newspaper published in the People's Republic of China. While it was established in 1949 as the official paper of the China Democratic League, it was run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 1982 and officially recognized as an institution directly under the Central Committee of the CCP from 1994.[1] As one of China's "big three" newspapers during the Cultural Revolution, it played an important role in the political struggle between Hua Guofeng and the Gang of Four in 1976 and between Hua and Deng Xiaoping in 1978.


The Guangming Daily, then romanized as Kuangming, was launched on 16 June 1949 in Beijing. It was originally the official newspaper of the China Democratic League, but later became the Chinese Communist Party's official organ for China's educated elite.[3]

During the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), Guangming Daily was one of the only three national newspapers that remained in circulation, together with the People's Daily and the People's Liberation Army Daily, and the sole magazine Red Flag. The four periodicals, known as "the three papers and one magazine", dominated China's public affairs. For safety reasons, regional newspapers and specialist magazines all took cues from the big four, and largely reprinted articles from them.[4]

Before the death of Mao Zedong, the paper fell under the control of the radical left-lean Gang of Four led by Mao's widow Jiang Qing. In October 1976, Vice Premier Ji Dengkui played a significant role in taking over the Guangming Daily, helping Mao's successor Hua Guofeng oust the Gang of Four and put an end to the Cultural Revolution.[5]

In 1978, the liberal Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang appointed Yang Xiguang, formerly with Shanghai's Jiefang Daily, chief editor of the Guangming Daily. Under Yang's editorship, Guangming was the first Chinese newspaper to stop publishing Chairman Mao's Quotations on the front page every day.[6] On 11 May 1978, it published Hu Fuming's (胡福明) famous editorial "Practice is the Sole Criterion for Testing Truth" (Chinese: 实践是检验真理的唯一标准), refuting Hua Guofeng's Two Whatevers theory in support of Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening policy. The article was quickly reprinted in almost all major Chinese newspapers, cementing support for Deng's victory over Hua.[6][7]

Since November 1982, it was run by the Chinese Communist Party. In 1984, it was officially recognized as an institution directly under the Chinese Communist Party and supervised by the propaganda department of the Chinese Communist Party.[1]

Two Guangming Daily journalists, Xu Xinghu (许杏虎) and his wife Zhu Ying (朱颖), were killed on the night of 7 May 1999 in the United States bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.[8]


Guangming Daily's circulation reached 1.5 million in 1987, but as independent publications flourished during the Reform and Opening era, it dropped to 800,000 in 1993.[3]: 167  To survive in the market, it reduced political coverage and propaganda, and increased its coverage on culture and science.[3]: 167  As of 2013, the paper had a daily circulation of 490,000.[9]

Guangming Online[edit]

In 1998, Guangming Daily launched its official website Guangming Online (, which was one of the earliest news websites in China.[10]

The Beijing News[edit]

In 2003, Guangming Daily partnered with the Nanfang Media Group (publisher of the highly successful Southern Weekly) to jointly publish The Beijing News, which quickly became one of Beijing's most influential newspapers.[11]


  1. ^ a b c 张宁. "传播光明的使者". Guangming Daily. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  2. ^ John King Fairbank; Denis Crispin Twitchett, eds. (1978). The Cambridge History of China: Volume 14. Cambridge University Press. p. 693. ISBN 978-0-521-24336-0.
  3. ^ a b c Zhao, Yuezhi (1998). Media, Market, and Democracy in China: Between the Party Line and the Bottom Line. University of Illinois Press. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-0-252-06678-8.
  4. ^ Cheek, Timothy (7 January 2016). The Intellectual in Modern Chinese History. Cambridge University Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-1-107-02141-9.
  5. ^ Song, Yuwu (8 July 2013). Biographical Dictionary of the People's Republic of China. McFarland. pp. 148–. ISBN 978-0-7864-3582-1.
  6. ^ a b 光明日报: 第一个取掉报眼上的毛主席语录 (in Chinese). Phoenix Media. 24 February 2010.
  7. ^ Zeng, Tao. 关于真理标准问题的讨论. People's Daily (in Chinese). Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  8. ^ Ponniah, Kevin; Marinkovic, Lazara (7 May 2019). "The night the US bombed Chinese embassy". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Main Media Players in China". AHK Greater China. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  10. ^ "About". Guangming Online. 31 August 2012.
  11. ^ Jonathan Hassid (2016). "Beyond pushback". China's Unruly Journalists: How Committed Professionals are Changing the People's Republic. Routledge. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-315-66611-2.

External links[edit]