CDT has recently acquired and verified a collection of propaganda directives issued by central Party authorities to state media at the beginning of this year. These directives were issued on an almost daily basis in early 2020, and have recently been translated by CDT. The following eight directives were released on March 9, 2020.
Please consult on the following newly sacked personnel:
Former member of the Hainan CCP Standing Committee and Haikou Municipal Secretary Zhang Qi (March 9, 2020) [Chinese]
Reports on Zhang Qi’s arrest in mid-March said that according to official statements Zhang was expelled from the Party in March. Months later state media reported that he pled guilty and expressed remorse for corruption.
Please take note, do not report, do not release, and do not propagate the BBC East Asia special report on Tibet “Consulting the Oracle.” (March 9, 2020) [Chinese]
BBC World Service premiered the Heart and Soul special “Consulting the Oracle,” a 27-minute audio report from North India on the Dharamshala-based State Oracle of Tibet.
The 2020 Summit of China-Central and Eastern European Countries Leaders Standard Title
Chinese: 2020 China-CEEC Leadership Summit
English: China-CEEC Summit 2020 (abbreviate, use for website domain registration, etc.) the 2020 Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (backdrop boards should capitalize the first letter “T” in “the”) (March 9, 2020) [Chinese]
In April, Chinese state media announced that due to COVID-19, the China-CEEC summit would be postponed.
Censorship and propaganda authorities had since the beginning of the year issued near daily orders to control media coverage of the domestic COVID-19 epidemic.
Reports on the return home to all parts of the country for the personnel aiding Hubei must be consistent with the general atmosphere of the nation’s epidemic relief. There should be no pictures of flowers, cakes, etc. (March 9, 2020) [Chinese]
Overly sunny propaganda in the early months of the fight against the coronavirus led to significant backlash from a public angry over malfeasance and censorship concerning the initial outbreak.
Concerning the situation of imported cases from foreign jurisdictions, reports must be based on authoritative information. Do not list faults, criticisms, or complaints. (March 9, 2020) [Chinese]
Concerning the prevention and control situations for overseas epidemics, ensure that you understand the main line: sudden epidemics are a challenge that commonly faces all of mankind. Countries must strengthen cooperation and join together, must resolutely put an end to those inciting opposition, rejoicing in others’ misfortune, or sneering and scolding at developing trends. New media headlines must especially guard against being stigmatic or offensive. (March 9, 2020) [Chinese]
Regarding all types of news conference reports on epidemic prevention and control, standardize sources and report accurately, do not take quotes out of context or misrepresent original intent, do not engage in writing “clickbait,” and carefully manage comments. (March 9, 2020) [Chinese]
1. Regarding Russian and Iranian reports on the novel coronavirus, please maintain the official stance and be up-to-date on relevant reports. Do not report, do not forward unconfirmed information.
In early March, as China’s domestic coronavirus spread began to slow, the rest of the world was coming to terms with the global implications of the outbreak. As infection rates climbed worldwide, Beijing urged overseas Chinese to skip planned trips home. Within a week, imported cases were shown to outpace local infections in China according to data gathered on travelers in major hub cities. Two days later, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Despite his near complete public absence over the preceding two months, Xi on March 10 took center stage with a highly publicized trip to Wuhan. Despite doubt over the authenticity of domestic figures at home and abroad, China’s successes allowed Beijing to adopt rhetoric championing its successful response to the virus as evidence of the superiority of its system.
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.