Ministry of Truth: Xi Says “Hello, Gorgeous!”
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
State Council Information Office: All websites must strengthen management of posts reporting on Secretary-General Xi’s activities and promptly delete harmful information. Without exception, delete pro-Bo [Xilai] messages on interactive platforms, including forums and weibo. (July 23, 2013)
On his visit to the Wuhan Government Affairs Service Center yesterday–also known as the “Wuhan House” (武汉市民之家)–Xi Jinping shook hands with city resident Ms. Guo Tingting, greeting her, “Hello, gorgeous!” (美女，你好). The day before, Xi was spotted in Wuhan’s New Port braving the rain, pant legs rolled up and umbrella in hand. Photos of Xi in the rain appeared on Xinhua and CCTV, antidotes to contrasting photos of Chinese officials having umbrellas held for them.
These images of Xi as a man “of the people,” promoted in Xinhua and CCTV reports, have met with plenty of ridicule online. On Weibo, @wis calls Xi’s greeting to Ms. Guo a “title bestowed on a beauty by the emperor” (御赐美女称号). @akid comments, “‘Hello, gorgeous’ and ‘the people know an act when they see it’–both demonstrated by the same man not a day apart from each other” (“美女你好” “什么是作秀老百姓一眼就能看出来” —— 以上出自同一人相隔不出一天). CDT Chinese has more scathing responses [zh]. None mention Bo Xilai, but messages in support of the former political heavyweight are deleted regularly.
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.