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.
All websites: 12/26 is the 125th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birth. There will be spontaneous mass commemorative events in Xiangtan, Shaoshan [Hunan]. News websites from all regions are not to assign journalists to cover [these events] unless arranged in a unified manner. Any unexpected circumstances at these events must uniformly not be reported on or disseminated. (December 27, 2018) [Chinese]
As China wrestles with the controversial legacy of Mao Zedong, a leading Marxist student activist at Peking University was detained by police just off campus while en route to an event commemorating the 125th anniversary of Mao Zedong’s birthday. On Twitter, Reuter’s Christian Shepherd shared a link to a WeChat post displaying many pictures from an unofficial commemorative event in Shaoshan, noting the apparent demographics of attendees:
Here are some pictures of celebrations at Mao's birthplace Shaoshan https://t.co/bfLq3a3aYD A lot of the attendees look young and moderately well-off.
— Christian 马思潭 (@cdcshepherd) December 26, 2018
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