Ministry of Truth: Tough Justice

Qu Jianguo in court on Friday. (Yangcheng Evening News)

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.

Guangdong Propaganda Department: Regarding the case against former Guangfa Bank Zhuhai branch director Qu Jianguo, all media must follow the requests from our department meeting. Produce only straightforward reports, and do not play up the issue. (December 14, 2012)


On Friday, the Zhuhai People’s Court found Qu guilty of corruption and bribery, sentencing him to the death penalty with a two-year suspension [zh].

Central Propaganda Department: Except for Xinhua wire copy, all media are without exception not to voluntarily investigate, report, or comment on issues related to Chonqing’s beat black campaign, especially as it involved Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun. (December 14, 2012)