This Week on CDT, July 18, 2014

Former Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong may be under investigation for graft; the story is so hot that simply writing the man’s name will disappear a Weibo post. As one user demonstrates: “I’m going to try posting this: GUO BO XIONG. Let’s see if it gets deleted.” It was.

Another official hounded by corruption rumors has defenders in high places. Censorship instructions leaked online instruct media outlets to republish a story about former Politburo Standing Committee member Jia Qinglin’s visit to Longevity Mountain. The resulting photo opportunity seems designed to disprove rumors of an investigation.

Haimen, a township in Guangdong Province, was the site of protests on July 10. Residents concerned about health risks tried to prevent China Huaneng Group from building a second coal-burning power plant in the area. Words related to the protest activity are blocked on Weibo.

The Internet is abuzz with speculation that a Party member and soprano in the PLA navy is under investigation for misappropriating military funds. The rumor itself is powerful enough to have moved Sina to block a number of related keywords from Weibo search results.

The man who ostensibly “represents all of Asia” was detained this week amid a corruption scandal. Rui Chenggang, or “Representative Rui,” is CDT’s Man of the Week.

CDT’s latest contribution to the World Post looks at the silencing online of writer and commentator Li Chengpeng and revisits some of his previous work.

Finally, don’t miss CDT’s interview with Howard French about his new book China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa, in which he offers his views on China-Africa relations and recommends his favorite Africa-related books and music.