Minitrue: Delete Report on Loans to Philippines

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

Find and delete the Global Times Online article: “ Media: China to Grant US$7.34 Billion in Loans and Aid.” (November 16, 2017) [Chinese]

The article in question summarizes an original report from The Philippine Star on a Chinese financial package funding infrastructure projects and anti-drug activities. Beijing’s generous use of state funds to further its global interests has repeatedly angered Chinese who feel that their taxes could be put to better use at home. Accordingly, Xi Jinping has earned the crudely homophonous nickname "Big Spender," searches for which have been blocked on Weibo since January 2016.

A previous eruption of largesse sparked online protest and subsequent censorship in October 2016, when Weibo’s censors deleted an image of Chinese Foreign Minister talking to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte with the caption "remember: say ‘the South China Sea is China’s,’ and we’ll give you a hundred million per character." Others on Weibo also expressed scorn at Beijing’s munificence at the time, together with skepticism at Duterte’s claim to seek "separation" from the United States. Sure enough, Duterte’s conciliatory approach to China in the turned out to be short lived.

@Serene_DeviL: China’s is the most shameless government in the world! Everyone in the world gets to use China’s money except for us Chinese taxpayers, while the government doesn’t want to pay out money at home, raising taxes and delaying retirement! Does China not have healthcare problems? Is there no need for money to take on the glaring problem of elder care? You give those others 16 billion so they’ll give you islands in return? How many people could US$16 billion save? How many impoverished areas could it fix? How many bridges could it build?

@qinqincao654321: Might I meekly ask whether state funds need approval from the National People’s Congress?

@xiucai1911: If I were the president of the Philippines, my thinking would be: go to China, ask for masses of money, and spend all of it on my country’s people! Similarly, if I was the head of an African state: go to China, ask for a few tens of billions, and improve my people’s living standards. To do this, I’d flatter China a bit, effusively praising the friendship between our two countries. For the sake of my people, I’d be brazen, without fear of Chinese netizens’ mockery!

@letscorp: According to Bloomberg News on the 20th, the Philippines’ president Duterte declared that he’d break off military and even economic relations with the United States. Chinese netizens have hit the nail on the head: a fake divorce to get a loan. It’s something we’ve seen a lot of in this country. [Divorce applications spiked in Shanghai in 2016 as couples sought to avoid rumored mortgage restrictions for married couples.]

YE5MQ5Vtp2jlWX7 (@YE5MQ5Vtp2jlWX7): Ever since the Philippines’ president said the South China Sea was China’s and went off with his money, the heads of every other country have been under great pressure to swindle some money out of Zhao Country, with no way to explain the situation to their own people.

@kbra-in-cq: You son of a bitch, did you ask the public before giving the Philippines this much money? It’s their hard-earned cash! [Chinese]

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. 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.