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.
Ahead of the 30th World AIDS Day on December 1, a short article posted (and since deleted) on many Chinese government web portals on November 30 outlined Premier Li Keqiang’s recent statements on strengthening the prevention and treatment of AIDS. Li served as a top government and Party official in Henan from 1998-2004, when the region was battling a significant AIDS epidemic spurred by a poorly managed government blood-buying campaign. Li’s previous comments on AIDS prevention and treatment have been met with scorn from AIDS activists who see Li as directly responsible for the oppression of activists, as well as the prevention of international relief efforts amid the crisis in Henan.
Coverage of Li’s comments this year came just after a previous directive urged strict control over the news narrative concerning He Jiankui’s claim to have controversially used the CRISPR genome-editing tool to deliver twins potentially immune to HIV. Coverage from China Media Project’s David Bandurski notes that Chinese coverage of the story rapidly changed from positive to skeptical as the world reacted to the news.
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