Why do China watchers pay so much attention to the front page of People 's Daily?
That is a tradition inherited from the time of the Soviet Union. There were people in universities, state services and embassy in the West doing daily press reviews. The state official daily newspaper was one of the only source of information. The game was to look at who was featured on the front page picture and who was missing to guess what was going on inside the Kremlin.
It is also true that People ‘s Daily is one of the main communication tool of the Beijing government. The Chinese central gov mostly states what he will be doing beforehand so you can just read the newspaper to know what ‘s coming. Usually works.
It may also be because their understanding of Chinese language is limited so they barely look past the front page.
This text was originally published in quora.