The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Central Propaganda Department: All media must refrain from hyping or exaggerating the referendum in Crimea. In your coverage, you may not connect the story to our own country’s issues with Taiwan, Tibet, or Xinjiang, and you must not comment without authorization on the Foreign Ministry’s position on and handling of the Crimean issue. (March 17, 2014)
96.77% of voters in the Crimean Peninsula, as well as the Crimean parliament, have opted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Russian troops entered Crimea on DATE, after Ukrainian president YANUKOVICH fled the country.
The Crimean referendum puts China in a bind. The BBC reports:
“The China-Russia relationship is in its best period in history”, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi proclaimed during China’s annual parliament session this month.
…But the Crimeans’ calls for separation challenges China’s often-stated reluctance to become involved in what it perceives to be other countries’ domestic affairs.
Also, the way China responds to Crimean separatism highlights Beijing’s refusal to recognise similar demands for political autonomy in its own backyard. If China respects Crimean demands to dictate their own political future, why not those in Tibet, Xinjiang or Taiwan? [Source]
Crimea has sparked discussion on Chinese BBS forums about China’s lost territory, including Mongolia. Comparisons of Crimea to Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang are being censored on Weibo [zh].
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
CDT collects directives from a variety of sources and checks 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.