Xinhua likes to call itself a news agency. Most of us know better.
The Communist press service kicked off a brouhaha in Germany, accusing a magazine (Focus) of having "a Falun Gong background" (Epoch Times). The statement was telling for a number of reasons.
Clearly, this was for domestic consumption, as the rest of the world doesn't share the CCP's hatred and fear of Falun Gong. I doubt the CCP is delusional enough to think this could silence Focus (and if so, they have already been disabused of that). Odds are the Long Arm of Lawlessness is already very busy with folks like Florian Norbu Gyanatshang (Epoch Times), but I digress.
The question is: why go after Focus like this? The answer: a fight with a German magazine can distract the people from serious domestic problems, like the ever-expanding melamine-milk fiasco (BBC and CNN), the continuing scandal over earthquake donation funds (Epoch Times), and a return of the bad export meme - this time regarding armchairs (Agence France Presse via Breitbart).
Until the Communists latest propaganda move (a spacewalk - BBC) literally gets off the ground, the cadres need to pick fights with foreigners to keep their own misdeed out of the minds and eyes of their own people. Today, it's a German newspaper; don't be surprised if future targets are bigger and take more damage.