Ministry of Truth: Wang Dexue’s Tears
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by central government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Central Propaganda Department: With regards to State Administration of Work Safety Vice Director Wang Dexue crying during his inspection of the collapse of the Lianluo Highway Yichang Bridge, do not sensationalize the story. (February 4, 2013)
The February 4 crash in Henan Province left ten dead and 11 injured. The local government states that it will compensate victims and their families according to “Henan standard,” which differs according to household registration (hukou): over RMB400,000 for urban hukou holders, but only up to RMB180,000 for rural hukou [zh].
Wang Dexue’s tears at the scene of the crash are assumed by many to be insincere. He has earned the nickname “New Watch Brother” (新表哥), after the Shaanxi official photographed grinning at the scene of a road accident last summer. “New Watch Brother” is already blocked from Sina Weibo search results.
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these 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 on CDT Chinese 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.