Minitrue: Cool Down Xi Jinping’s Lunch Story
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
State Council Information Office: All websites are asked to remove from their homepages the article “Steamed Bun Shop Where Xi Jinping Ate Will Make Line for Photos, Keep Tourists from Crowding Restaurant” and related reports. Moderate the “heat” of this topic and do not play it up. (January 17, 2014)
Today’s Beijing Youth Daily ran an interview with Zhu Yuling, president of Huatian Group, which owns Qingfeng Steamed Bun Shop. Business is up at least 35% at Qingfeng’s 180 Beijing stores since President Xi’s lunch there last month. The chair and table where he sat have been removed from the restaurant, which may return the furniture and cordon off an area around it to control the crowds. “Before it was ‘steamed buns waiting for people,’” Zhu said, “now it’s ‘people waiting for steamed buns’” (以前是“包子等人”，现在成了“人等包子”).
It appears that Zhu, who is also a People’s Congress representative for Beijing, has said nothing politically negative, but that censors are trying to control the story through propaganda directives and by blocking “sensitive” keywords from 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.