Ministry of Truth: Vulgar Video, Explosions, and More

Update (12/12/11): Liu Qibao was originally noted here as the new head of the CCP Publicity Department. “CCP Publicity Department” has been changed to “Central Propaganda Department.”

The following examples of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The original publication date is noted after the directives; the date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.

Central Propaganda Department: With regards to reports on Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s foreign visit, strictly and without exception adhere to Xinhua wire copy. (November 21, 2012)


Central Propaganda Department: Do not republish, report, or comment on the essay “Border Province Governor Liu Qibao” or related issues. (November 21, 2012)


Sichuan Province Party Secretary Liu Qibao has just been appointed head of the Central Propaganda Department. “Governor of a border province” (封疆大吏) is a late imperial term. Its use by the provincial press implies a feudal title, although the intent was probably just to laud Liu.

Central Propaganda Department: With regards to reporting on high-level personnel changes at the national, provincial, and local levels, adopt without exception Xinhua copy. Do not changes titles or contents. (November 21, 2012)


Central Propaganda Department: If reporting on the vulgar video from Chongqing is to appear in print, use authoritative sources, do not make it too big, and do not use pictures. (November 22, 2012)


Central Propaganda Department: With regards to the explosion at a hot pot restaurant in Shouyang, Shanxi Province; the explosion in a coal mine in Xiangshui, Guizhou Province; and the vulgar photos of a Chongqing official: if you report on these incidents, follow Xinhua wire copy and the information issued by the authorities in the respective locale. Do not report in depth, do not put the news on the front page or lure readers to these stories, and do not send reporters to the scene. (November 24, 2012)