Minitrue: Delete Content on Newsweek Issue

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, find and delete reports, articles, and comments related to the latest edition of the U.S. magazine Newsweek. (June 15, 2020) [Source]

The directive may refer to Newsweek’s June 26 issue, which featured a cover story by David Brennan on the erosion of Hong Kong’s freedom and autonomy. (The dates by which each issue is identified lag well behind actual physical distribution and online availability.) The article focuses on a police ban on Hong Kong’s annual Tiananmen vigil—which went defiantly ahead regardless, albeit on a smaller than normal scale—and the implications of the then-looming National Security Law which was imposed on the territory by mainland authorities on Tuesday this week.

A wider version of the cover cartoon accompanied Brennan’s article showing a Taiwan flag on another plate to Xi’s left, with a hand removing a silver cover from a third plate whose contents remain obscured. "The implications of Hong Kong’s plight are far-reaching," Brennan warned. "China-skeptics are coalescing in the face of Beijing’s unapologetically authoritarian march to superpower status, warning that what Hong Kong faces now is what others—Taiwan, among the first—may face in the future."

Xi had previously graced the magazine’s cover only weeks previously, looming over a miniature Donald Trump in a warning of "a new Cold War" which "this time the Communists might win." Newsweek’s other recent China coverage includes more on Hong Kong and U.S.-China rivalry, the COVID-19 pandemic, and other potentially sensitive topics.

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.

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