The following examples of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those 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 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.
The following directives were all issued by the Guangdong Department of Propaganda. CDT published three other directives from this source on November 7.
Guangdong Department of Propaganda: Do not report or comment on the situation concerning East China Normal University professor Zhang Xuezhong. (November 8, 2012)
Zhang, a professor at the Shanghai university’s law school, was barred from teaching undergraduates in September after writing about the plan to introduce patriotism classes into Hong Kong schools [zh]. (Protests lead the plan to be scrapped.) Zhang’s Sina and Tencent Weibo accounts were deleted in early October, but he has “reincarnated” and continues to post on the microblogging platforms. He wrote the following weibo on Tencent on November 8:
ZhangXuezhong: Without democracy, we cannot contain corruption; if we cannot contain corruption, we cannot improve people’s lives; if we do not improve people’s lives, social development is out of the question. The root of all problems lies in our lack of democracy; the solution to all these problems lies in realizing democracy. I have never once believed that I can degrade myself to the point that I cannot even enjoy the conditions for democratic rights; I have always believed that those who deprive me of my democratic rights are the true enemy.
Guangdong Department of Propaganda: Do not reprint, report, or comment on retired Guangzhou Shipyard International and Guangzhou City Construction Group [广州城建集团] senior employee Li Yunqing owning 24 properties and related reports. (November 8, 2012)
Guangdong Department of Propaganda: Do not report or comment on the online rumor that Sun Zhigang‘s younger brother Sun Zhiguo refuses to use his older brother’s fame to make money. (November 9, 2012)
Guangdong Department of Propaganda: The Guangdong delegation to the 18th Party Congress held a discussion on the morning of November 9. With regards to the segments during which Governor Zhu Xiaodan spoke and Chinese and foreign journalists asked questions, without exception strictly adhere to the news wire copy provided by the general office. Do not change the titles or body of the text. All media and websites are forbidden from making any other form of report or commentary. (November 9, 2012)
Guangdong Department of Propaganda: Strictly review content with regards to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection report discussing revisions to the Party constitution. Use Xinhua wire copy without exception. Do not link to other reports. (November 11, 2012)
Guangdong Department of Propaganda: Do not report on, comment on, or reprint the following stories: yesterday’s breakdown on the high-speed train from Wuhan to Zhengzhou; Japanese participants being barred from participating in the Beijing Marathon; the news that 74% of government employees work overtime; the Shenzhen man who paid 19 years worth of social security taxes only received 1220 yuan in pension. (November 11, 2012)
Guangdong Department of Propaganda: Except for Xinhua wire copy, do not report on the media reports that Wang Lijun has been expelled from the Party and from public office. (November 11, 2012)