Ministry of Truth: Molotov Cocktails and More

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.

State Council Information Office: Without exception, use Xinhua wire copy in reporting on Chinese citizen Liu Qiang throwing a Molotov cocktail at the Japanese embassy in South Korea. Downplay the incident. Do not publish the news above the fold. (November 2, 2012)


The Japanese government has asked South Korea to extradite Liu, who also threw an incendiary device at the Yasakuni Shrine last December [zh].

Central Propaganda Department: All media and websites are prohibited from investigating, reporting and commenting on residents obstructing a construction site and blocking the Shenhai Expressway in Xiyang Village, Huahu Town, Huilai County, Jieyang District. (November 2, 2012)


Huilai County is located in Guangdong Province.

State Council Information Office: Without exception, use Xinhua copy in reporting on our fourth-generation fighter jets (J-21 and J-31), and downplay the news. Do not produce in-house reports or commentary. Do not quote from foreign sources or from websites. (November 2, 2012)



State Council Information Office: All media and websites are forbidden from reporting on, commenting on or publishing American Kurt Campbell’s statement on “managing” the Diaoyu Island dispute. (November 3, 2012)


On November 2, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell called on Japan and China to ease the tension over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands which flared in September, saying, “There is recognition that certain problems are so challenging that they can only be managed. They may not be able to be solved.”


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