Minitrue Diary, February 28, 2020: Sun Yang, Tax Terminology, COVID Research

CDT has recently acquired and verified a collection of  directives issued by central Party authorities to  at the beginning of this year. These directives were issued on an almost daily basis in early 2020, and we will be posting them over the coming weeks. The following directives were released on February 28, 2020.

Regarding the arbitration result in the case of swimmer Sun Yang and the International Swimming Federation (FINA), take the Chinese Swimming Association’s official statements as standard without exception, and do not infer, decipher, or comment. Do not translate foreign media reports without authorization. Strictly control the temperature, do not put stories on the news or main front pages, and do not send news app push alerts. Strictly manage all kinds of attacking or defamatory commentary. (February 28, 2020) [Chinese]

On February 28, three-time Chinese Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang was suspended from competing for eight years for a drug testing violation. A ruling by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport in a complaint by the World Anti-Doping Agency will ban Sun from the upcoming games in Tokyo, and “most likely end his career,” reported The New York Times.

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1. The National Development and Reform Commission will soon publicly release minimum purchase price levels for the 2020 rice crop, and will also set limits on purchase amounts. In the absence of unified arrangements, do not report, comment, or republish.

2. Regarding the Central Propaganda Bureau and Central Culture Office’s launch in Wuhan of the “Voluntary Service and Care Campaign” for epidemic prevention and control, do not report for now until arrangements have been made. (February 28, 2020) [Chinese]

CDT editors were unable to find news in English or Chinese on the NDRC release mentioned in this directive.

The second point listed in this directive is the latest in a near daily succession of propaganda orders on the coronavirus pandemic. Several previous directives had also limited coverage of civil society aid in the midst of the crisis, especially donations from “disadvantaged social groups.”


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When some websites reported on the National Tax Office’s February 27 press conference, they abbreviated “digitized special VAT receipts” as “digital receipts,” creating a serious inaccuracy. Please change “digital receipts” to “digitized special VAT receipts” as soon as possible. If it cannot be changed, please immediately delete the relevant reports (February 28, 2020) [Chinese]

On February 27 Chinese authorities pledged to finish drafting new financial legislation, including a law on value-added tax.

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For reports about research findings on the efficacy of pharmaceuticals, Chinese medicines, or vaccines against the novel coronavirus pneumonia, standardize the distribution workflow for news dispatches, and proceed in strict accordance with information published by the State Council Joint Prevention mechanism and authoritative departments such as the National Health Commission, Ministry of Science and Technology, etc. Do not rush to publish unverified information, and do not overstate or exaggerate curative effects. (February 28, 2020) [Chinese]

Among the many recent COVID-19-related propaganda directives since early January, several had aimed at medical research, vaccine development, and the promotion of Traditional Chinese Medicine for coronavirus prevention and treatment.

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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