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Empty chair

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空椅子 (kōng yǐ zi): empty chair

Following the Nobel prize ceremony during which imprisoned Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo was represented by his empty seat, the term “empty chair” (空椅子) has become a banned word in Chinese cyberspace. As reported by the China Digital Times, Some bloggers who have used the term have had their accounts blocked, and a campaign to post images of an empty chair on blogs and microblogs have seen the posts censored and images removed; some accounts have even been deleted for posting the image.

China Digital Times also reports here about the ambiguous cover of the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily, one of China’s most popular and outspoken newspapers. Was this cover a veiled reference to Liu Xiaobo?

For more on China’s attempt to censor images empty chairs, see here (English) and here (Chinese).

Emptychair.jpg

Emptychair2.jpg

Use of the empty chair symbol by Amnesty International

Emptychair3.jpg


Cover.jpg

The Southern Metropolis Daily's controversial cover

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