In the present paper I delve into the relations between the Shanghai Municipal Council and The North China Daily News, to investigate how firm the grip of Western powers was on the newspaper and hence to what extent the Council managed to ‘dictate’ the editorial line of The North China Daily News. To do so, I will focus on an event that has left a strong mark on Chinese history: the ‘May Thirtieth Incident, 1925’, which involved Chinese protesters and the local police of the Shanghai Settlement. The Incident sparked international condemnation and further increased nationwide discontent and anti-foreign demonstrations. To carry out my study, two databases will be analysed, both covering the timespan 1925–1927, so as to comprise both the event and its aftermath: (a) the Minutes of Meetings of the Shanghai Municipal Council and (b) the articles published by NCDN on the topic. To better understand and contextualise the socio-historical setting of the Incident and the political background against which NCDN circulated its news and editorials, the analysis of the data illustrated in Section 4 will be preceded by Section 2 and 3, providing respectively a historical overview of early 20th century China, along with an outline of the May Thirtieth Incident (Section 2), and a focus on the early English language press, particularly with reference to NCDN (Section 3).
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