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 U.S. presidential election, all media platforms must strictly follow unified reporting. Relevant reports must be based on standardized sources such as Xinhua. Do not republish foreign media without authorization, and follow-up reports are not allowed. Media commentary must be consistent with [the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson’s] statement on the relevant situation, and must not aggravate excessive emotions or hype public opinion. Online interactive platforms must guard against any anti-U.S., boycott the U.S., or other inflammatory and actionable messages. (November 3, 2020) [Chinese]
As state officials in the U.S. finalize the results of the presidential election between incumbent Donald Trump and Joe Biden, the Chinese government and state media have been reticent on the topic. At a press conference on Tuesday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin responded to a question on the topic by saying only, “We notice that the U.S. presidential election is still ongoing, and the result hasn’t come out yet.”
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.