The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
- Do not focus excessively on rises to tax thresholds, do not discuss real estate tax related topics, do not report speculatively on tax thresholds.
- Reports on “Two Sessions” security must be strictly controlled.
- Do not hype the subject of village management, do not link to old cases or old news.
- Do not compile lists of proposals and drafts in specific fields, do not compile ludicrous proposals and drafts from previous years.
- Do not report, comment, or re-publish on the Jiangsu Qianbao Net case. Do not independently report on this story, and do not round up old cases.
- Do not hype the March 4 Ji’an, Jiangxi traffic accident.
- Do not report on the National Development and Reform Commission’s draft to tighten subway construction examination requirements.
- Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, abbreviated “CPTPP,” may soon be formally signed. Do not report, re-publish, or comment on related topics.
- Handle reports on the 4 year anniversary of the lost Malaysian Airlines flight with caution. Do not make recollective reports, don’t interview Chinese family members, do not re-publish related reports.
- Do not hype topics related to the risk that advances in AI could lead to a rise in unemployment. (March 6) [Chinese]
The above directives were issued by Henan’s provincial propaganda department on March 6, the day after the opening of the “Two Sessions” annual meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing. This is the second of four lists of directives obtained and translated by CDT that will be published this week. A separate directive on Tuesday banned media personnel from online discussion of a reporter’s exasperated eyeroll at a Two Sessions press conference.
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.