Sensitive Words: Han Jihadist, Xu Zhiyong, More
As of September 12, the following search terms were blocked on Sina Weibo (not including the “search for user” function).
Chinese Jihadist Held in Iraq: Early this month, the New York Times reported that Iraq’s Defense Ministry announced the capture of Wang Bo, a Chinese national who had been fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (the Times also ran the article in Chinese). Last year, the Times reported on Wang as a rare example of an ethnic Han joining a jihadist group in the Middle East. This news comes as global concerns about the Islamic State are mounting, and as China continues a crackdown on violence in Xinjiang which has targeted members of the predominately Muslim Uyghur ethnic group local to the region. While China has made efforts to tie violence in Xinjiang to the global jihadist movement and gain international support for its counter terror campaign, Beijing criticized Barack Obama’s recent announcement on imminent U.S. military strikes against the Islamic State on the Iraq-Syria border, staying true to its characteristic commitment to non-interventionism.
- 王波＋叙利亚: Wang Bo + Syria
- 王波＋圣战: Wang Bo + jihad
Rumors About Presidents (Past and Present)
- 马元＋舅舅: Ma Yuan + uncle—Want China Times reports on Internet rumors [Chinese] suggesting that Ma Yuan, an undistinguished young screen actor, is the nephew of President Xi Jinping. The actor has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.
- 江＋金蟾: Jiang + golden toad [Chinese wealth charm]—Former president and party secretary Jiang Zemin is often called “The Toad” due to his amphibian likeness. The 88-year-old retired leader has long been in frail health, and rumors of his death periodically circulate on the Internet. This week, BBC’s Chinese service reported on unverified rumors that Jiang died of bladder cancer at Beijing Hospital 301. Jiang’s son has denied rumors about his father’s death.
- 膀胱癌＋301医院: bladder cancer + Hospital 301
Xu Zhiyong: Rights lawyer, activist, and New Citizens Movement founder Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years in prison in January for “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order.” Xu’s detention, arrest, and sentencing are part of a larger crackdown on human rights activists and civil society under Xi Jinping.
- 许志永＋新（公民): Xu Zhiyong + New (Citizens Movement)
- （许）志永＋公民: (Xu) Zhiyong + citizens
- 许ZY: Xu ZY
- 自由微博: FreeWeibo—An uncensored, independent search engine that catalogues posts deleted from Sina Weibo
- 央视主播: CCTV anchor—In July, CCTV star anchorman Rui Chenggang was detained on corruption charges. Foreign reports recently said that Rui’s alleged offenses may include treason.
- 习＋老师: Xi + teacher—President Xi Jinping called on teachers to make a “greater contribution to the educational cause” while visiting Beijing Normal University on September 10, Teachers Day.
- 习＋涉嫌: Xi + be a suspect
- 周永康＋法办: Zhou Yongkang + punish according to law—A corruption probe into former security chief Zhou Yongkang was announced in July, making him the senior most official to yet be caught in Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption net. Many commentators took state media to task after the investigation was hailed as a demonstration of the rule of law in China.
- 中共第一贪: CCP’s most corrupt—Could be a reference to either Zhou Yongkang or Jiang Zemin.
- 薄＋中共高层: Bo + CCP high level: Former Chongqing Party Chief and onetime likely candidate for the Politburo Standing Committee Bo Xilai has been serving a life sentence since July 2013 for corruption charges.
- 薄＋急先锋: Bo + daring vanguard
- 郭伯雄（复测）: Guo Boxiong (retested)—this former Central Military Commission vice-chairman is rumored to be under corruption investigation. His name first became a sensitive term in July.
- 我们要工作: we want to work
All Chinese-language words are tested using simplified characters. The same terms in traditional characters occasionally return different results.
CDT Chinese runs a project that crowd-sources filtered keywords on Sina Weibo search. CDT independently tests the keywords before posting them, but some searches later become accessible again. We welcome readers to contribute to this project so that we can include the most up-to-date information.
Have a sensitive word tip? Submit it to CDT through this form: