The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Beijing Network Management Office: No news service may offer a livestream of the U.S. presidential debate. Any which have already begun must be immediately terminated. (September 26) [Chinese]
U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met on Monday night in the first of three debates. [Updated at 15:19 PDT on Sep 28, 2016: The event was streamed on Sina Weibo, while several streams from outside China remained accessible. The aim of the directive may have been to limit the number of domestic streams so that they could be more easily cut off if the debate entered sensitive territory.]
China did come up several times in the course of the discussion, as Trump accused it of “using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild” itself; labeled it “the best, the best ever” at devaluing its currency, although The Wall Street Journal recently described such claims as “a few years behind”; contrasted its “incredible airports” with the United States’ “third world” infrastructure; and said that China “should go into North Korea,” as it “is totally powerful as it relates to North Korea.” (Politifact disagrees.)
Clinton noted Trump’s suggestion that “climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese”; Trump, who has previously dismissed the claim as a joke, denied making it.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Clinton also claimed a 50% increase in American exports to China during her time as secretary of state, and highlighted her own work to include China in efforts “to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran.” She promised to warn China and other adversaries in the digital security arena that “the United States has much greater capacity. And we are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information, our private-sector information or our public-sector information.” Trump, meanwhile, countered Clinton’s suggestion of Russian involvement in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee by stating that “it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?” The New York Times’ David E. Sanger countered that “United States intelligence officials disagree: This most recent round of attacks, they concluded with ‘high confidence,’ indeed originated from Russia.”
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. 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. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.