Minitrue: Without the Motherland, You Are Nothing!
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
At The New York Times on Monday, author Yu Hua described “the hijacking of Chinese patriotism” by the Party, which “over the last 64 years has managed to equate ‘love of country’ with love of the party and the government.” The China Story highlights a widely circulated and “almost certainly fake ‘grass-roots’ Internet forum post” that encourages this view:
As of today December 4, a Xinhua article praising and summarising it has appeared on and in many — possibly all — mainland Chinese news outlets from Sohu.com to Southern Metropolis Daily to CCTV. Some versions of the article are titled titled ‘”Without the motherland, you are nothing” web posting widely circulated and draws positive response’《没有了祖国你将什么都不是》帖文广为传播 引发共鸣; others are ‘Netizens comment warmly on “Without the motherland, you are nothing”‘ 网民热评《没有了祖国你将什么都不是》.
The forum post lauds Xi Jinping, criticizes American meddling in other countries, and cautions that China cannot afford to descend into chaos, and that the people who suffer most in times of unrest are the common people. The conclusion is that the Chinese people must firmly stand behind the Communist Party and President Xi. […] [Source]
A leaked directive from the State Council Information Office shows that the post’s spread has received a helping hand:
State Council Information Office: In recent days, the post ‘Without the Motherland, You Are Nothing’ has spread widely online. All news agency websites, microblogs, WeChat accounts and other client applications please forward this post. Also gather material from primary central authority media outlets, and focus on positive netizen commentary. (December 4, 2013)
To equal “love for the motherland” with “the love for the motherland under CCP rule” is something that the Chinese government has been trying very hard to achieve. For a short period in history, they succeeded. But in today’s China, more and more people are more eager than ever to make that distinction – they love their country, but such patriotism is not dependent on who is in power.
[…] In response to the post, popular social science scholar 于建嵘 commented: “The motherland is indeed very important to us ordinary people. It’s our root. That’s the reason why we hope it can grow into a place with more equality, more democracy and more rule of law. Please don’t equal my motherland with certain interest group, who, in the name of the motherland, have been robbing the people and limiting the people’s freedom.”
One can only hope that someday, the author of the post, as well as those in power, can realize that without its people, China is nothing. [Source]
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.