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.
Regarding the new domestic long-range strategic bomber “Hong-20,” all media must uniformly refrain from reporting. (October 12, 2018) [Chinese]
The mention of the development of a “new type of long-range strategic bomber, the ‘Hong-20′” in an August episode of a CCTV documentary fueled foreign media speculation on the ongoing development of a new domestic bomber. Domestic Chinese news outlets, for example the Global Times, then reported on the topic. A more recent English article from Global Times noted that a mysterious silhouette on stage at an October 7 PLA gala had military observers speculating that it could represent the new bomber.
In an article late last month, the South China Morning Post cited the CCTV documentary to open a piece on the significance of the new bomber:
China needs a long-range strategic bomber so that its air force can attack further out into the Pacific Ocean.
The air force defines these bombers as being able to carry more than 10 tonnes of air-to-ground munitions and with a minimum range of 8,000km without refuelling, according to state media.
A long-range strategic bomber would give China the ability to penetrate the “second island chain” – the islands further east in the Pacific, including the US territory of Guam. [Source]
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