Sensitive Words: Hu Yaobang Remembered and More

Hu Yaobang remembered. (Jiao Yantian via China Media Project)

Hu Yaobang remembered. (Jiao Yantian via China Media Project)

As of April 16, the following search terms are blocked on Sina (not including the “search for user” function).

24th Anniversary of Hu Yaobang’s Death: Former Chinese Communist Party chief died suddenly on April 15, 1989, two years after he was removed from office and purged for supporting student protesters. Public mourning for Hu in 1989 morphed into pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and in other cities. Hu was rehabilitated in 2005, but the remembrances which appeared in mainland media yesterday are unusual. South China Morning Post reports that this signals to some Xi Jinping’s seriousness about reform, though it could have as much to do with Hu’s alliance with Xi Zhongxun, Xi’s father.
• Yaobang (耀邦)
• Secretary-General Hu (胡总书记)
• 24th anniversary (24周年)
• Hu Zhao (胡赵): Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang. Zhao succeeded Hu as Party chief, but was also purged for his support of the Tiananmen protests. Zhao spent the last 15 years of his life under house arrest.
reformist (改革派)

• Saintly Slaves (圣奴隶): The title of an April 10 blog post [zh] by the popular blogger Li Chengpeng in which he lambasts “fifty cents” for sycophantically defending China whenever Li makes a criticism of domestic issues such as food safety or violent chengguan. A translated excerpt:

…Our conversation goes like this: I say gas is too expensive, you say it’s it’s worse in Sweden. I say they don’t collect highway tolls in Sweden, you say they do in Japan. I say wages are high in Japan, you say they aren’t in Russia. I say Russia has universal health care, you say India doesn’t. I say India doesn’t have forced demolitions, you say bombs go off in Iraq. I say Iraq has freedom, you say North Korea is far more miserable. I say North Korea has cheap rental housing, you say they still live in caves in Afghanistan. I say Afghans have the vote. You say, “Open your trap again, and I’ll crush you to death!”


• New York Times+baby (纽约时报+宝宝): David Barboza of the New York Times has won a Pulitzer Prize for his exposé on former premier Wen Jiabao’s family wealth. “Baby” (宝宝 bǎobao) is a sarcastic nickname for Wen which plays on his first name (家宝 Jiābǎo).

All Chinese-language words are tested using simplified characters. The same terms in traditional characters occasionally return different results.

Browse all of CDT’s collected sensitive words in this bilingual Google spreadsheet.

CDT Chinese runs a project that crowd-sources filtered keywords on Sina 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. To add words, check out the form at the bottom of CDT Chinese’s latest sensitive words post.

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