The People’s Daily yesterday reported the death of a senior Chinese official thus: "Liao Jingdan, a former Chinese revolutionary and long-time publicity official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has passed away. He was 93."
Publicist? It makes it sound as if, after a stint with the Communist Party, he resigned to take up a senior position with Hill & Knowlton. The word propaganda has had positive connotations and a specific and widely recognized meaning in the English version of Chinese communism for decades. Sad to see such a robust word filled with fighting spirit be toppled by a word redolent of wimpish passivity. Gongguan is not xuanchuan.