Sensitive Words: Sichuan Earthquake, Xi Jinping
As of April 22, the following search terms are blocked on Sina Weibo (not including the “search for user” function).
Sichuan Earthquake: At least 188 are dead and over 11,000 injured after Saturday morning’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake, which struck Lushan County in the mountainous southwestern province of Sichuan.
• Fan Jiyue (范继跃): Lushan County Party Secretary Fan Jiyue was seen inspecting the disaster zone with Prime Minister Li Keqiang [zh]. Savvy netizens, quick to catch signs of luxurious lifestyles in these photo opportunities, noticed Fan’s distinct watch tan, then dug up older photos of him wearing a watch on the same arm. Fan is likely hoping to avoid the ridicule which drove Watch Brother out of office last fall. Netizens are calling Fan the “clever county Party secretary” (机智的县委书记) and “Taking-off Watch Brother” (脱表哥).
• Lushan County Party Secretary (芦山县委书记)
• Li Keqiang+put on a show (李克强+作秀): Li Keqiang was photographed yesterday eating a simple breakfast in a tent near the epicenter of the earthquake [zh]. Bedraggled from a busy night, he repeatedly emphasized to reporters that saving lives is his “number-one” priority right now.” Former prime minister Wen Jiabao was notorious for acting like this to demonstrate his concern for victims of natural and man-made disasters earning him the nickname “movie star.”
• prime minister+movie star (总理+影帝)
• Three Gorges+Sichuan earthquake (三峡+四川地震): Many people believe the Three Gorges Dam is to blame for the severe earthquakes which struck Sichuan this weekend and in 2008. Geologist Yang Yang, quoted in the Financial Times, says that this is a possibility, but that it is too soon to tell.
Alternate Renderings of Xi Jinping (习近平 Xí Jìnpíng): All based on sound.
• West Gold-peace (西金平 Xī Jīnpíng)
• Western Jin Peace (西晋平 Xī Jìn Píng): The Western Jin Dynasty ruled from 265-420 CE.
• Fully-washed Peace (洗尽平 Xǐ Jìn Píng)
• Whistle-clean Peace (洗净平 Xǐjìng Píng)
• Wash into Bottle (洗进瓶 Xǐ Jìn Píng)
• Sikkim Bottle (锡金瓶 Xījīn Píng)
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 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. To add words, check out the form at the bottom of CDT Chinese’s latest sensitive words post.