The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
State Council Information Office: All websites must find and delete the Tencent article “At U.S. Press Conference, Chen Guangbiao Offers 2 Million USD to Self-Immolators for Plastic Surgery” [zh]. (January 8, 2014)
At a press conference in New York on January 7, the eccentric recycling tycoon Chen Guangbiao announced that he would drop his offer to purchase the New York Times, but is now eyeing the demolition of the old San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, a deal worth USD240 million, as well as the Wall Street Journal.
Chen also pledged to fund plastic surgery in the U.S. for Hao Huijun and her daughter Chen Guo [GRAPHIC PHOTOS], who as alleged former Falun Gong practitioners set themselves alight in Tiananmen Square in 2001. The two women were present at the press conference and condemned Falun Gong.
According to official Chinese accounts, a small group of Falun Gong practitioners self-immolated in Tiananmen Square on the eve of the Chinese New Year, January 23, 2001. While independent journalists were unable to verify the reports, the Chinese government drew on the incident in its crackdown on the spiritual practice.
Correction: The previous title of this post mistakenly referred to Hao Huijun and Chen Guo as “former Falun Gong.” In fact, their affiliation with the spiritual practice is unverified, as is the alleged self-immolation of Falun Gong in 2001. Falun Gong prohibits suicide. See David Ownby’s account in Falun Gong and the Future of China.
We also corrected the amount offered by Chen to 2 million USD, not 2 billion.
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these 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 on CDT Chinese 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.